Implementation Status of Local Economic Development (LED) in Benin

Video Interview with Ms. Georgette Djenontin Bada , Officer in charge of Local economic development and resource mobilization within the National Association of Municipalities of Benin (ANCB). Find transcription below .

In Benin, what is the implementation status of Local economic development? 

In In Benin, it is true that several activities have been carried out in terms of Local economic development. Several strategies have been developed, in particular the ECOLOC approach, formerly steered by the PDM (Partnership for municipal development), the players of which are today at the level of the continental umbrella organization, UCLG Africa. It is a program which had  designed a local economic development strategy in certain municipalities in Benin. I admit that after the Partnership for Municipal Development (PDM) there have been other partners who have also initiated some actions in the sector but I must recognize that the little that I fundamentally know in Benin concerns the ECOLOC studies. As regards  the issue of LED, there is a problem that remains: we do not have a national policy for local economic development. There are attempts at strategies.

In 2012, UCLG Africa was willing to support Benin, which has started to draw up such a strategy, and UCLG Africa has implemented PADEL, the Support Program for local economic development, which has gained ground between 2012 and 2014. What did we have to do? There was talk of developing a national strategy for local economic development. Over time we have identified a certain demand for legislation that needed to be revisited. It was a question of seeing local economic development taken into account in that legislation . We were able to do this thanks to the technical and financial support of UCLG Africa.

We have continued the process up to a given level: for the moment things are a bit in a standby mode. The ECOLOC studies had been implemented in the department of Borgou. We started in a commune of the Donga area called Djougou. The process has been implemented up to a certain level. Unfortunately after these studies carried out at great cost with the help of the PDM over time and recently with the help of UCLG Africa, the municipalities have not been able to implement the projects initiated. However, the purpose of the ECOLOC studies is to identify a certain number of projects to be implemented at the level of local authorities to promote youth employment, income sharing, etc.

How long ago has the implementation of LED been really started in Benin ? 

I can tell you that there is a first period from 2000 until around 2008 when the first ECOLOC studies were carried out in Benin and there is another period from 2012 in 2014. These are the 2 main stages of ECOLOC studies in Benin.

How can you define Local Economic Development (LED) in a simplified way ? 

Before answering your question, I would like to say that local economic development is a very broad and multi-thematic concept that brings together all sectors. When someone talks about transport, economic development is part of the equation  because farmers who are in their field and who cultivate, harvest, and who do not have enjoy infrastructure to transport products from the field to the market  are facing a problem. So people say that everyone must be able to feel concerned by Local Economic Development:  people in the agricultural sector, in fisheries, in transport, and other sectors. For me, local economic development is a whole-government approach that brings together all the sectoral ministries. Even when one talks about health, local economic development is there.

In summary what is it all about ? 

It is about actions. One must think, see for example within a territory for example what the economic potential is ? What value should be added to this potential to generate income ? And when one talks about income, one means jobs and when one talks about jobs, it is also about paying taxes. It is a whole chain. Local economic development is not like an object that you have to touch to say this is local economic development, but it is a whole process.

Challenge African Youth: Showcase solutions for the Africa We Want at the 2018 Africities Youth Forum

The 8th edition of the Africities Summit will take place from November 20-24, 2018 in Marrakesh, Morocco, under the theme: “The transition to sustainable cities and territories: The role of Local and Sub- national governments of Africa.” The Africities summit is the flagship event of the pan African Organization United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa). The summit is held every three years in one of the five regions on the continent.

The Africities 2018 Summit will be organized by the Kingdom of Morocco, UCLG Africa, and the Moroccan Association of Presidents of Municipal Councils (AMPCC). 5000 participants are expected at the event, representing all the stakeholders of African local life as well as their partners from other regions of the world, including: The Ministers (for local governments), The Ministers for housing and urban development, public service, finance, leaders and officials of city and subnational governments, representatives of the business sector, civil society organizations and trade unions; traditional and moral authorities, researchers and academia, development partners and international cooperation agencies, among others. For this edition, a special focus will be given to youth.

To ensure that the voice of youth is heard, UCLG Africa has joined forces with BEES 55, a solidarity network that focuses on programs that create jobs and develops entrepreneurs, to organize the Youth Forum-Creative Lab. UN Habitat – Safer Cities Program, and UNESCO – Science, Technology and Innovation have also pledged their support for Africities Youth Forum.

In the framework of the 2018 Africities Summit Youth Forum, a competition has been launched that is open to young Africans. It aims is to harvest as many ideas as possible that will accelerate the transition towards sustainable cities and territories in Africa, targeting the main Global Agendas (Agenda 2030 of the United Nations for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); Agenda 2063 of the African Union for the realization of “The Africa We Want,” and the five priorities (High Five) proposed by the African Development Bank to accelerate its implementation). Its main objectives are to contribute to find the best strategies to improve the living conditions of Africans and define solutions to accelerate the dynamic of integration, peace building and unity on the continent, starting from its territories.

The Youth Forum is open to young Africans aged between 15 and 35, from Africa and from the Diaspora. The competition aims to select 20 young Africans who will be invited, free of charge, to the 2018 Africities Summit, where they will participate in a Creativity Lab consisting of a Cartoon Camp Challenge and a Virtual Reality Contest.  The topic will be “Imagine a sustainable future for Africa and its cities and territories, in 2030 and 2063.

Those selected to participate in the Creative Young Innovators Lab will be required to work during the first 4 days of Africities (from November 20 to 23, 2018) in:

  • The Cartoon Camp Challenge; helping the participants to project themselves into the future. The Cartoon Camp promotes a mindset conducive to innovation. Building dreams is at the root of any innovation project. The Cartoon Camp will help participants to think about smart cities and smart economies based on African values and ways to produce an adequate standard of living for Africans. The Cartoon Camp will allow young people to think about Africa with all its imperfections and all its qualities and to suggest solutions inspired by local know-how and also by new technologies. Projects may concern: the organization of city systems in different countries or the continent as a whole; spatial planning or organization of a city in a country of interest; proposals for different types of construction, buildings, housing, equipment, street furniture or any other product, that highlights a dynamic, sustainable development, takes into account the latest technological developments, and respect the most fundamental African values.
  • The Virtual Reality Contest that will consist of a hackathon competition. Participants will conceptualize, create and plan prototypes of IT solutions to speed up the transition towards sustainable cities and territories in Africa, with priority given to the following areas: energy solutions, food security, access to water and sanitation services, waste management and waste valorisation, development and maintenance of infrastructure for transport, mobility and telecommunication, tourism, culture and heritage, education, health systems, other solutions…

The qualified prototypes will then be submitted to the Africities 2018 delegates for the selection of the 3 best projects from the Creative Lab, Virtual Reality Category. Submissions will take place during the AWARD Ceremony of the closing Gala Dinner on November 24, 2018. For each category, 3 laureates of the Africities 2018 Young Innovators will receive respectively: • 1st Position: 5,000 euros • 2nd Position: 3,000 euros • 3rd Position: 1,500 euros. In addition, the winner of each category (1st Position) will benefit from a 1-year mentoring program to further develop their projects with the assistance of senior professionals identified by the organizers. It’s time for youth to make a change on the continent.

How to submit? 

  • File a candidature registration form
  • Send a 4 page storyboard explaining your ideas, with an annex of support illustrations that may include drawings, plans, diagrams, virtual images, IT tools, etc., depending on the category you are entering, (Cartoon Camp or Virtual Reality).
  • The storyboard and annexes must be received no later than September 30, 2018 at 17:00 GMT.

Register now !

October 15, 2018, the Jury, selected by the organizers, will announce the final results of the competition.

Watch the video presentation of submission.    


Enclosure: Competition rules

For more information, please contact:

Gaëlle Yomi: Phone + 212 610 56 71 45



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