Women at a conference table with microphones.

Promoting South-South exchanges to support decentralisation in West Africa

Capacity building for decentralization in West Africa

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A group of people at a conference table.


Decentralisation is an integral part of political discourse in the French-speaking countries of West Africa. However, progress varies when it comes to transferring skills, human resources and funds from central to local governments.

In designing their reforms, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger need to take into account increasingly fragile governmental structures. In addition, criminal and terrorist groups pose security risks for municipal actors and local communities.

Countries such as Mauritania and Niger are still in the early stages of implementing decentralisation reforms. This particularly affects the development of resilient communities and the appropriate allocation of public resources.


Key decentralisation actors draw on regional experience and innovative solutions in their work, thereby improving access to basic services.

People at a conference.


The project aims to enable national municipal associations and their regional umbrella organisations to position themselves as representatives of the interests of local populations in political exchange with their respective governments as well as with the G5 Sahel and the Sahel Alliance.

Another goal is to improve the range and quality of training facilities available for mayors, local councillors and municipal officials.

The project also seeks to improve communication with the Sahel Alliance in the area of decentralisation and basic services. Therefore, the project supports cross-border exchange and learning platforms to disseminate regional experiences and tried-and-tested procedures for implementing decentralisation reforms. The West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) as well as the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG-A), the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the World Observatory on Subnational Government Finance and Investment (SNG-WOFI) are important strategic partners of the project sharing the common goal of creating regional standards.

Last update : July 2023