Madam Lydia Charlie, Acting Mayor of Victoria, Seychelles, Elected Co-President of AVCOI
A New Era for AVCOI
In a significant development for regional diplomacy, acting Mayor of Victoria, Lydia Charlie, has been elected as co-president of the new office of the Association of Cities and Communities of the Indian Ocean (AVCOI). The election occurred during the AVCOI general assembly, held at the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort. Alongside Charlie, Ambdilwahedou Soumaila, mayor of Mamoudzou, the capital of Mayotte, will serve as the other co-president.
The general assembly saw the participation of 28 foreign delegates from Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mayotte, and Réunion, as well as 30 local delegates from different sectors in Seychelles. Additionally, representatives from the International Association of Francophone Mayors (AIMF) and the AVCOI secretariat were present at the meeting.
Focus on Circular Economy and Local Taxation
During the assembly, two thematic workshops were organized. The first workshop focused on the circular economy and waste management, critical issues for the sustainable development of the region. The second workshop concentrated on local taxation as a central issue and policy of local development, aiming to explore the potential for revenue generation at the local level.
Besides, a roundtable discussion on the role of territorial communities in the development of the blue economy was also held, underlining the importance of sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs.
Building Capacities for Local Finances
An essential workshop titled “Local Finances: State of play of practices within AVCOI communities – prefiguration of the working group” aimed to introduce and consider actions and possibilities for the network in terms of local taxation. The workshop sought to share experiences, identify issues, define advocacy points to develop local taxation of communities, and propose actions to strengthen capacities.
Charlie expressed satisfaction with the two-day meeting organized by the city of Victoria in collaboration with AVCOI and AIMF. She thanked the delegates for their trust, stressing that it was a privilege to work with her colleagues to strengthen their association. Charlie will serve a two-year term in her role as co-president.
Founded in 1990 in Antananarivo, Madagascar, AVCOI acts as a spokesperson for territory actors and serves concrete projects for local development and regional integration. The association comprises cities and communities from Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mayotte, Réunion, and Seychelles. It aims to strengthen regional integration, improve living conditions, and enhance the contribution of local authorities to major current issues.
In 2016, AVCOI adopted new statutes and programming and set its seat in Saint-Denis (Réunion). As of 2020, AVCOI was recognized not only as a network for mayors to exchange ideas but also as a player in urban cooperation in the Indian Ocean, demonstrating its growing influence and importance in the region.
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