City diplomacy in Africa: a promising tool? Conference hybride
Cities and, more broadly, local and regional authorities play an important role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The concept of city diplomacy is not new. However, there is an increasing interest about the role that local and regional authorities play in formulating responses to international challenges (climate change, migration, conflict response, public and urban health, etc.). This sub-national diplomacy encompasses multiple tools, such as decentralized cooperation projects, the constitution of multi-actor networks or simply the organisation of events bringing together "local" actors. What is the concept of city diplomacy in Africa about and how is it evolving in a context of rapid urban growth? Is city diplomacy likely to complement interstate diplomacy or does it risk replacing more traditional forms of diplomacy?
This conference brought together many personalities at Ifri (program at the bottom of the page). It highlighted the growing importance of this topic and helped enrich the Governing the Urban Transition in Africa program, which will continue to work on this subject.
Videos of the speakers: "What is city diplomacy?"
Rohey Malick Lowe, mayor of Banjul, Gambie.
Arnaud Ngatcha, deputy mayor in charge of European and International Affairs, City of Paris, France. (video in French)
Rahmatouca Sow Dieye, advisor in politics and international relations, United Cities and Local Governments of Africa, coordinator of Africities (video in French)
Welcoming words : Sina Schlimmer, researcher/coordinator of the programme « Governing Africa's Urban Transitions », Ifri
Panel 1 : National diplomacy, territorial diplomacy, decentralized cooperation: how to situate city diplomacy?
Chair : Gérard Wolf, coordinator of the "sustainable city task force", MEDEFI
- Max Bouchet, visiting senior fellow for city & state diplomacy, Truman Center for National Policy
- Xavier d'Argoeuves, delegate for the external action of local authorities, French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs
- Arnaud Ngatcha, deputy mayor in charge of European and International Affairs, City of Paris
- Rahmatouca Sow Dieye, advisor in politics and international relations, United Cities and Local Governments of Africa, coordinator of Africities
Panel 2: City diplomacy to make international policies
Chair: Alix Françoise, researcher, French Development Agency
- Franck Fortuné, director, SoCoopération
- Rohey Malick Lowe, mayor of Banjul
- Virginie Rouquette, general manager, Cités Unies France, French United Local Governments