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The network of LDAs is expanding in the Mediterranean!

After months of intensive preparations between the Moroccan and international partners and ALDA, a new LDA has been set up in northern Morocco, in the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima Region!
This LDA represents a key player of the ALDA network: after the introduction of the LDA in Tunisia in 2017 in Kairouan, the Moroccan LDA will be the second of the mediterranean region, but the first in this area to have a regional scope, i.e. to have entry points to the entire northern region of Morocco. Indeed, although its headquarters is based in the commune of Tetouan, the LDA Northern Morocco has branches in the communes of Chefchaouen, Tangier and Larache, which allows it to open up to the newly established region, as a result of Morocco's territorial division in 2015.
On 28 April 2019, the ALDA Mediterranean Project Team, led by Ms Giulia Sostero, travelled to Morocco to conduct the opening ceremonies, with the main one held in Tetouan, followed by local ceremonies (Chefchaouen and Tangiers on 29 April and Larache on 30 April).
Before the start of the official opening ceremony, all the partners of the future LDA met in a general assembly to elect the different positions of the LDA bureau. On this occasion, the delegate of this new LDA, Ms Mouna Saihi, was also introduced.
The Tetouan ceremony witnessed the presence of a large number of actors, such as the governing board of ALDA – including its secretary general Ms Antonella Valmorbida, a representative of the Fons Mallorqui – the main donor of the LDA, the delegate of the LDA Tunisia, together with the Mayor of Kairouan (Tunisia), and representatives of the municipalities in the region and partner associations. All the protagonists seemed to agree on the priorities of this new LDA: Strengthening the associational network in the region; raising awareness on good local governance among local actors ; promoting exchanges of good practices between local actors and partnerships development and encouraging intermunicipal cooperation and management of services – always with a particular focus on frequently marginalized groups such as youth and women.
Many representatives of local associations in the region were also present, and the rest of the day was devoted to them. The latter met in practical workshops to discuss possible ways forward, through close collaboration between the ADL and CSOs, on different thematic areas, such as the development of partnerships between local authorities and civil society and the support to social and solidarity economy.
Likewise, the smaller opening ceremonies in the municipalities of Chefchaouen, Larache and Tangier brought together ALDA members, partner associations and municipal representatives, joined by local civil society associations, to discuss the challenges faced in exercising local and participatory democracy but also to propose new ways of collaboration. These discussions highlighted the need to develop local antennas, as the issues could vary considerably from one locality to another. On the other hand, the means used in the exercise of participatory democracy appeared very different between municipalities, as the activities and tools supported by local associations to implement inclusive dialogue and citizen participation to the management of the public good. The LDA therefore appears to forge ahead as a key player for good governance in Morocco, acting as a real platform for networking between actors, cooperation and the exchange of experience. 

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