MedCities and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung PolDiMED programme organized the 2nd regional dialogue Local voices towards permanent dialogue in the Mediterranean on 17th and 18th May in Agadir, with the objective to enhance the capacities of municipal representatives to access international funding for the implementation of urban transformation projects, towards a greener and more inclusive cities in the Mediterranean.

The event “Local authorities and bankable urban transformation projects: access to international funds” aimed at offering a better understanding of the opportunities to finance sustainable urban development actions through grants, loans and blended mechanisms. The event had a mixed component of political exchanges and technical training, by targeting both Mayors and high-level technical staff of local development units working on big urban projects.

The participant list included the Mayors of Tunis, Sfax and As-Salt and municipal councillors of Tetuan, Agadir and the Greated Irbid Municipality.

The first day, dedicated to a dialogue between the cities of the southern and eastern Mediterranean and IFIs or international actors, took place in two parts. In the first part, four experts from international financial institutions and technical partners of international cooperation have exposed their points of view and their advice to the Mediterranean municipal representatives. These were Mrs. Dina Ranarifidy (World Bank), Mr. Neji Larbi (African Development Bank), Mr. Andreas Berding (GIZ), and Mr. Grammenos Mastrojeni (Union for the Mediterranean). In a second phase, the floor was given to the six city councils present to give their points of view and exchange their experiences and practices in terms of financing urban transformation projects. The discussions were organised around the following points:

  • The funding available today for urban transformation at the local level
  • The challenges of Mediterranean cities
  • The constraints and conditions for the allocation of this funding and
  • The prerequisites for access to the available funding.

“We need to establish a direct dialogue between cities and donors. We all have the same agendas: social crisis, agenda….We need to think about the best possible tools for transformative change” (Dina Ranarifidy- World Bank)

The second day was hands-on training on how to prepare local institutions for better access and an enhanced capacity to manage international funds. Knowing the funding opportunities available, planning in advance the funding strategies for their strategic projects, identify donors’ funding priorities in line with the city strategy, and creating the municipal technical capacities necessary for preparing and implementing such projects, are some of the necessary steps that South Mediterranean Mayors should take to assure their institutions’ access to funding opportunities.

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