From Cape Verde to the Basque Country

Abdessamad Sekkal

President of ORU Fogar.


From the United Regions Organisation, ORU Fogar, we are convinced that the IV Forum of Local Economic Development of Cape Verde happens to be part of a history, which began in Seville and continued in Foz de Iguazú and Turin.

Cape Verde will be the Forum in which we have integrated the LED dynamic, that is to say the Local Economic Development, with the ODS, the Sustainable Development Objectives, approved by the United Nations in 2015.

As an organization of regions, we have already been in Seville and we have maintained growing commitment with this forum. In Cape Verde we have been responsible for organizing different panels, we have contributed with 30 speakers and we have facilitated 21 B2B among our members that, we have, will allow us to promote projects and develop bilateral relations. Cape Verde, above all, has allowed us to influence the debate on the global agenda.

ORU Fogar argued that after Habitat III, where much emphasis was placed on urban policies, the rural world would be discussed again. We thought, that the dynamics of cities cannot be treated in isolation and we have put the concept of territorial balance on the table. We managed to make rural development a central theme of the II LED Forum of Latin America and the Caribbean, held in Cochabamba, Bolivia. And we have introduced the topic in this forum in an important way.

There has been talk of rural development in the 7 spaces, interactive panels, learning agendas, political dialogues, which ORU Fogar has organized, but in many others organized by FAMSI, UCLG, ILO or UNDP. We stressed the need to develop integrated territorial development approaches, that encompass all the components of the territory, specifying that the regional scale is the most appropriate scale to be developed. If cities are to play an important role in the framing of the territory, particular importance must be given to the rural territories.

In relation to this meeting, we must keep some sentences. That of the president of “Côte d'Ivore” regions, Jeannot Ahoussou-Kouadio, when he said: “investing in rural policies is investing in national stability”. Or that of Mrs. Fekitamoeleo Katoa, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, when she said: "No one behind, no place behind"

In my last speech, my final argument was in favour of regional policies as the closest to the citizens.

The forum was a success and, each one, returned to its territory with new ideas and energy. We must thank the people of Cape Verde and its government for their warm welcome. We will not forget this country. At ORU Fogar, however, we never stop and we are already organizing the assembly / forum of 27-28 November in the Basque Country, where we expect the presence of all regions and associations of regions in our network.




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