Debates Conférences
from 14:00 to 17:30
This event is public
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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?




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?

(2 - 3.30PM) 

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


*** Coffee break ***

(3.30 - 4PM)


Panel 2: City diplomacy to make international policies

(4 - 5.30PM)

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


This is a public and hybrid event, which will be held in English and French with simultanous translation. 




To subscribe to the event, please write to afrique@ifri.org and precise whether you would like to participate on site or remotely. 

Ifri 27 rue de la Procession 75015 Paris
Contact the organizers: 

Adresse : Ifri - 27 rue de la Procession - 75015 Paris

For more information about the event, please contact Lise Lesigne : afrique@ifri.org 

action extérieure des collectivités territoriales coopération décentralisée diplomatie des Etats diplomatie des villes en Afrique Objectifs de Développement Durable (ODD) Relations Internationales Afrique Etats-Unis Europe France