Le Centre International de Développement pour la Gouvernance Locale Innovante
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La célébration du 5 éme anniversaire du CILG VNG International

I would like to cease this opportunity to provide you with more information about myself and my organisation, I am Neila Akrimi, Tunisian-Dutch national, PhD in European development law, lawyer, lecturer and ex-diplomat, currently Director of  CILG-VNGi, centre of innovative local governance, the Tunis based MENA representation of VNG International, the  agency of international cooperation of the association of Dutch municipalities. We have been supporting local governance in Tunisia since February 2011, shortly after the revolution, this was possible thanks to earlier actions in Tunisia of VNGi through our involvement as implementer in the EU financed projects for the southern neighbours. Our proximity and reactive attitude has given us the chance to respond to the Tunisian needs very soon in order to contribute supporting Tunisia facing crucial reforms towards local democracy, good governance and economic development.
Our programs in Tunisia are co-financed by two EU member states Denmark and The Netherlands. Our current program is “PAGUDEL” in its second phase: “Programme d’Appui à la Gouvernance Urbaine Démocratique et Développement Economique Local en Tunisie”. The  Dutch Government is Co-Financing with EU our big project for Support to Libya Local Governance and Peace Building. I would like to underline that we have been focusing for the last 5 years on cross-border municipal collaboration between Tunisian and Libyan municipalities.
Through the past years we have been a privileged partners to national and local partners, we have supported closely the “ANC” (Assemblée Nationale Constituante)for chapter 7 of the constitution and continuing the process with the Tunisian current “ARP” (Assemblée des Représentants du Peuple), worked on different reforms of the FNVT (Fédération nationale des villes Tunisiennes). We have been supporting the Tunisian ministry of local affairs since its creation, we provided technical assistance to the municipal election laws as well as the “la loi organique des municipalités” from the governmental but the CSOs perspectives. Among other actions we are proud to indicate that we launched with the Ministry of Women affairs, the national charter/initiative  for Gender equality between men and women in Tunisia and we are supporting field work related to this matter at municipal level.
Our office is in the Lac-Tunis, and we are present in 18 municipalities through our local coordinators. We are very keen on field work, we have been supporting several strategic municipal pilot projects linked to urban development, local economic development and job creation enhancing the territorial marketing of several cities as well as civil society initiatives. Most of our work is field oriented as well as most of financial means. We are trying to play role of bridge between the real needs, challenges and expectations from the field and the decision making process at the policy level, we believe that decentralisation is national project and connecting the dots is for us  a key condition for success, it is not easy, as is the decentralisation process, a complex and lengthy process, I had my ups and downs moment but I believe that acting local is the best solution to the challenges of Tunisia democratic transition and can efficiently pave the way to a fair yet strongly established development model.
This event we are organising is to celebrate our combat for the local development in Tunisia, for a safer and inclusive cities, for bigger space for young and women to take part in the public sphere at local level, it is also to revive the public debate to what really matters in these times when Tunisian politics seem to be deviating more and more from the essence of the change we all aspired.
We believe that cities in Tunisia play a central role in shaping the model of governance and development
They are witnesses to the impact these have on our citizens.
Cities are Tunisia's best chance to achieve a more equitable and sustainable future for all.
As the first level of democracy Tunisian cities are our chance to rebuilt the trust of our young in the public institutions and to foster the values of social peace and cohesion.
Equality between women and men and the full enjoyment of women’s rights and freedoms is a vital condition of a real democracy...the means to achieve sustainable development and peace.
Tunisian cities do have tremendous potential to be the main creators of economic wealth, generating jobs all over the country from the coast to the most remote areas.
A potential that still needs to be explored, equipped and empowered.
We have to admit, acting local is no easy path to go, it implies perseverance, patience, solidarity and good will but it is the right path, a challenge worth taking.
Martin luther king once said: The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
Just like him We have a dream about inclusive, democratic, peaceful prosperous and Happy cities in Tunisia, and all the countries in the region, bright future for all.
Besides the dream we also have a vision, mission and a plan.
We offer our support, deep knowledge and long years of experience bridging know how between Europe and the southern neighbours, advocating the cause of local governments.
It has been our pleasure and honour to serve the Tunisian  community and we Wish to be privileged to continue doing so for the years to come."
 Plus de 150 personnes se sont réunies pour la célébration de la création, il y a cinq ans, du Centre de Développement International pour la Gouvernance Locale Innovante (CILG), et de la représentation régionale (Moyen-Orient et Afrique du Nord) de l’Agence de coopération internationale de l’association des communes néerlandaises (VNG International).
Dr. Neila Akrimi, la directrice générale du CILG, a, dans un premier temps, reçu les invités en son nom et en représentation de son équipe, et dans un deuxième temps, a présenté un aperçu des résultats qu'elle a qualifiés d'impressionnants et de tangibles : il s'agit de résultats des différents projets mis en œuvre en Tunisie et en Libye. Plus de 2 000 agents municipaux ont été formés, un appui significatif a concerné les réformes relatives aux lois sur la décentralisation, plus de 250 emplois concrets ont été créés grâce à des projets dans le cadre du Développement Économique Local (DEL) dans 12 communes, des activités dans le domaine de la participation des citoyens ont eu lieu dans toutes les régions de la Tunisie et, en dépit de la situation très complexe, en Libye, une assistance a été fournie pour améliorer la prestation des services dans 23 municipalités libyennes. Parmi les invités se trouvaient le Ministre de l'Emploi et de la Formation Professionnelle de la Tunisie et le Ministre de l'Administration Locale en Libye, le Maire de Tunis, l'Ambassadeur de l'Union Européenne en Tunisie, les Ambassadeurs des Pays-Bas en Tunisie et la Libye et la Représentante danoise à Tunis. Les deux ministres ont souligné l'importance de la prestation de services du CILG pour le processus de développement et de la réforme dans leurs pays.
cliquer ici pour voir le Discours de Dr. Neila Akrimi
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