The MENAPAR will organize its fourth bienal conference in Ifrane, Morocco in partnership with the UCLG-A (United Council of Local Governments-Africa) and the African Local Governments Academy (ALGA). This conference has a special significance because it coincides with the MENAPAR becoming a regional member of IIAS (for the Arab region) and having been registered as an international NGO in Belgium. The dates (usually the last week of October) will be discussed during the MENAPAR Board meeting in Brussels, Belgium at the conclusion of the IIAS Governance week.
The Middle East and North Africa Public Administration Research (MENAPAR) network was incubated as an offshoot of the research activities of BIPA within the Capacity Development Facility (CDF); a joint project of BIPA and the UNDP. It was born on the 23 of April 2014 by acclamation of participants in its organizational meeting. It was officially announced during the closing ceremony of the MENAPAR conference on 24th of April 2014 and communicated at a subsequent Press conference. A preliminary meeting was held on June 1, 2013 where the idea of creating a regional network of public administration research was exposed in a workshop that was held as a prelude to the IIAS/IASIA congress. The idea was well accepted by the 50+ attendees and further pursued in a BIPA/UNDP joint workshop in early November 2013 to define what the network should look like, what agenda it should pursue, how it will be governed and how it can become sustainable. The MENAPAR conference is the crowning of a year-long effort to jump start this initiative at last and it was done!
UCLG Africa is the umbrella organization and the united voice and representative of local governments in Africa. It was founded in 2005 in the City of Tshwane, South Africa as a result of the unification of three continental groups of local governments, namely the African Union of Local Authorities (AULA); the Union des Villes Africaines (UVA); and the Africa Chapter of the Unao dos Ciudades y Capitaes Lusofono Africana, (UCCL AFRICA). Established as the African section of the world organization UCLG (United Cities and Local Governments), UCLG Africa now boasts a membership of 44 national associations of local governments from all regions of Africa, as well as 2000 cities that have more than 100,000 inhabitants. As such, the organization represents nearly 350 million African citizens. Its headquarters are in the City of Rabat, The Kingdom of Morocco, where it enjoys diplomatic status as a Pan-African International Organization.