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High-Level Workshop - "The Evolving Regional Urban Agenda: Focus on Municipal Finance"

Status: Completed
  • The World Bank and the Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI) are organizing the workshop: Urbanization Knowledge Exchange to Support MENA Stakeholders "The Evolving Regional Urban Agenda: Focus on Municipal Finance" in Rabat, Morocco on March 18-19, 2013.

    The workshop brings together mayors and urban development leaders from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Territories, Tunisia, and Yemen in MENA, as well as urban development leaders from around the world.


    Regional Context


    Today, the world's urban areas accommodate up to 3.3 billion people, equivalent to half of the world’s population. This share is even larger in the Arab world where on average, 60% of the population is urbanized and the rate of urbanization of 2.3% is greater than the world average of 2.1%. These large and rapidly growing urban populations introduce new challenges and opportunities for urban management and leadership. 

    In September 2012, a World Bank initiative led by the Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI) and the Arab Urban Development Institute (AUDI) was launched in Marseille to facilitate urbanization knowledge exchange in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. This initiative was designed to increase interactions between cities across the MENA region to collectively solve problems, address common urban issues, explore urban opportunities and share growth management approaches.

    It was also designed to connect MENA city leaders and partners to urban leaders and experts around the world to share good practices. These exchanges would be facilitated by several means, including the World Bank's Urbanization Knowledge Platform.


    Scope of the Workshop

    A second regional conference is taking place March 18-19 in Rabat to further develop the community of practice, present virtual tools community members can use to connect with one another and access knowledge, as well as to explore in depth one specific issue which had been raised as a priority by the participants in Marseille: municipal finance.

    The objectives of the Rabat conference will be threefold:

    • Present initiatives and products that the World Bank has to offer to facilitate urban knowledge exchange – including the Urbanization Knowledge Platform and other virtual tools – among policy makers and other key stakeholders;
    • Delve into one specific theme of particular relevance to the MENA region, i.e., municipal finance;
    • Create a community of practice that brings together officials and practitioners from countries of the MENA region including Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, West Bank Gaza, and Yemen.


    Expected Output

    The Platform is designed to enable knowledge- and experience-sharing in the region between urban leaders – government officials, mayors, research institutions, private companies, and others working on urban development – and to create a community of practice for urban development. Initially composed of four countries from the Southern rim of the Mediterranean – Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia – the knowledge exchange is expanding to include urban leaders from Jordan, the Palestinian Territories, Yemen, and individuals and organizations from other countries that express interest in exploring this new approach to knowledge exchange. 

    Participants to the Municipal Finance Conference highlighted the need for technical training in order to help local governments improve their financial management, and the MENA UKP team will be working on organizing.


    The summary of debates and discussions can be found here


    Links to Resources


    Participants Presentations

    Day 1

    SESSION 1 – The MENA Region Context: Building the New Urban Agenda

    • H.E. Mr. Nabil Benabdallah, Minister of Housing, Urban Planning and City, Morocco
    • H.E. Mr. Mohamed Saifallah Lasram, Mayor of Tunis, Tunisia
    • H.E. Prof. Dr. Osama Kamal, Governor of Cairo, Egypt
    • H.E. Dr. Khaled Al-Qawasmi, Minister of Local Government, Palestinian Authority

    SESSION 2 – Tapping Into the World Bank Knowledge Products: Presentation of the Urbanization Knowledge Platform



    • Dr. Zaki Khoury, Regional Manager, International Organizations, Microsoft – An Urban Governance Tool: e-Performance Dashboard
    • Dr. Hosang Sakong, Director, Global Development Partnership Center, Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements

    SESSION 3 – Financing the City of Today and Tomorrow: Review of Current Challenges and Future Priorities


    • Mr. Fathallah Oualalou, Mayor of Rabat, President of Municipal Finance Commission, UCLG

    Experts Presentation:


    Day 2:

    SESSION 1 – Municipal Development Funds: Sharing Lessons Learned From other Countries


    • Mr. Ahmed Al-Salloum, Director of the Arab Urban Development Institute

    Expert Presentation:


    • Caisse de Prêts et de Soutien aux Collectivités Locales, Tunisia
    • Fond d’Equipement Communal, Morocco
    • Municipal Development and Lending Fund, Palestinian Authority – “MDLF Presentation
    • Cities and Villages Development Bank, Jordan
    • FINDETER, Columbia -  Supporting Sustainable Development
    • Mr. Elguja Khokrishvili, Executive Director, Executive Director, Municipal Development Fund, Georgia – Municipal Development Fund of Georgia

    Closing Session

    • Mr. Fathallah Oualalou, Mayor of Rabat
    • Mr. Ahmed Al-Salloum, Director of the Arab Urban Development Institute
    • Mr. Mats Karlsson, Director of the Center for Mediterranean Integration
    • Mr. Franck Bousquet, Sector Manager, Urban, Social and Disaster Risk Management Unit, MENA Region, The World Bank – Wrap-Up Session Presentation