/R E P E A T -- FCM joined by its Canadian and African partners in Ottawa to share municipal best practices at a workshop/

    OTTAWA, June 20 /CNW Telbec/ - The Federation of Canadian Municipalities
(FCM) this week invited its partners from Canada and throughout Africa to
share best practices in municipal management and service delivery in an effort
to build local government knowledge for Africa and to discuss future
programming priorities as part of FCM's Municipal Partnership Program (MPP).
    Nearly 80 municipal elected officials and practitioners from British
Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Burkina Faso,
Mali, Ghana, Mozambique and Tanzania participated in the five-day Africa
Partners Forum. The event was organized to promote municipal international
cooperation and to take stock of the knowledge and experiences gained, the
lessons learned and the results achieved throughout the MPP since the
inception of the current phase in 2002.
    The sharing of best practices stems from partnership projects related to
waste management, municipal communications, and revenue generation for local
economic development, as well as regional project work in gender mainstreaming
and combating HIV/AIDS. In many cases, the projects included the engagement of
youth in an effort to build their capacity.
    The delegates collaborated on future programming ideas and
recommendations in response to the Government of Canada's priorities:
increasing food security; stimulating economic growth; and securing the future
of children. The priorities are related to the international cooperation
objectives released this past May by the Honourable Bev Oda, Minister of
International Cooperation. The minister further elaborated on the importance
of these priorities and the achievement of sustainable results during her
visit to FCM's Annual Conference and Municipal ExpoTM in Whistler, B.C. from
June 5 - 8.
    Councillor Tiffany Paulsen, of the City of Saskatoon, Sask., and
Governance Representative for Africa from FCM's Standing Committee on
International Relations, hosted the workshop delegates.
    "There were many examples of exceptional best practices presented by the
partners throughout the week," said Paulsen. "Some of the most interesting
discussion occurred, however, around the next phase of the MPP, which is
presently being developed. I look forward to collaborating with our Canadian
and African partners to ensure this next phase becomes a reality."
    M. Abdel Kader Sidibé, president of the Association des municipalités du
Mali, has been involved since 2003 in FCM's international programs in Africa.
He reflected on the program in an address to delegates on Thursday.
    "This was an opportunity to report on the activities we have lead over
the last seven years and to report on how they have benefited our associations
and communities; but this meeting was more importantly a venue to plan for the
future", said Sidibé. "The future is very uncertain at this time, and our
communities have high expectations. The biggest challenge we face is to meet
their expectations and I am convinced that the solid group of partners we have
formed can rise to even the highest of challenges."
    The five-day workshop also included the annual business meeting of the
Africa Regional Partners' Group meeting on Friday. The group adopted a work
plan and budget for the year; reviewed recommendations for new program
priorities for a future program starting in 2010; and performed an evaluation
of the workshop.
    The current phase of FCM's Municipal Partnership Program is funded by the
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and will end in March 2010.

For further information:

For further information: Elena Harder, (613) 907-6252, eharder@fcm.ca

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Federation of Canadian Municipalities

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