What is Local Economic Development Network Of Africa ?

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The LEDNA program is a pan-African initiative for the promotion of local economic development (LED). It was set up at the request of African mayors to the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) during the Africities 4 Summit in Nairobi in 2006.

The main objective of LEDNA is to contribute to the reinforcement of the capacities and practices of local governments in the field of Local Economic Development.

The LEDNA has two dimensions:

The first dimension is a platform for sharing information, experiences and knowledge on Local Economic Development among African countries www.ledna.org;

A second dimension of operational support on the one hand to African countries to make the national institutional environment more conducive to LED, and on the other hand to local authorities for capacity building and the conduct of local economic development processes.


It is in this context that the mission of the Local Economic Development Network of Africa (LEDNA) is to support African local governments and countries in acquiring knowledge, training human resources, and developing and implementing LED programs/projects. By providing technical support, expertise and assistance to local governments, LEDNA contributes to the achievement of local economic development objectives, while enhancing the positive impact of these initiatives on national economic development and poverty alleviation.


Local Economic Development (LED) focuses on utilizing local resources and actors to drive economic growth and reduce poverty at the local level. It’s a means to national economic development, where successful local government initiatives in fostering local economies can positively impact the national economy through job creation, increased tax revenues, and reduced economic inequality. LED contributes to improving living conditions locally, aiding in poverty alleviation efforts.


Decentralization in Africa, amidst economic challenges, fragile institutions, and poverty, initially focused on administrative and political aspects (1980-2005). Post-2005, the shift to local economic development (LED) was driven by globalization, decentralization, and urbanization. LED strategies, involving diverse actors, aim for sustainable local development through enhanced economic activity, job creation, and wealth distribution, benefiting local economies and public services.


The LEDNA program has a steering committee composed of five mayors, each representing one of the African sub-regions.

The Steering Committee

It is the orientation and steering body of the program. It is representative of African local authorities. It is composed of 5 mayors, each representing one of the five African integration regions, namely West Africa (Mali), Central Africa (Congo), East Africa (Tanzania), Southern Africa (Mozambique) and North Africa (Morocco).

The steering committee meets in principle once a year. Its tasks are :

  • – Drive the LEDNA strategy;
  • Approve the annual work program and the annual budget;
  • Evaluate the work of the coordinator and his team;
  • Ensure relations with technical and financial partners;

The Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee is responsible for advising the Steering Committee and the LEDNA Coordinator on the conduct of the program. It is composed of recognized personalities involved in the field of local economic development (LED) and decentralization.

The composition of the advisory committee is not fixed, it is flexible and depends on the availability of the personalities identified and the issues addressed by the LEDNA. Membership of the Advisory Committee is free of charge and is not subject to remuneration.

Its main tasks are to:

  • Advise the steering committee;
  • Coach the core team;
  • Disseminate LEDNA activities in their regions;
  • Ensure critical analysis of implementation options and a monitoring and evaluation system;
  • Provide critical analysis of implementation options and a monitoring and evaluation system; Ensure the review of program documents;
  • Provide support for the development of program documents;

It holds its annual meeting in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Steering Committee. It meets prior to the Steering Committee to review the applications; the resulting recommendations will then be presented by a member of the Advisory Committee to the Steering Committee.

The operational team

This small team is structured in two parts; a permanent staff including the coordinator and the online facilitator and a part-time staff including the LED and ICT experts and the regional facilitators.


LEDNA activities are organized around four (4) main components:

  • To facilitate the regional and national institutionalization of LED (i.e. create a regional platform of local governments; disseminate documents for the operations of local economic development; share resources and instruments for the funding of local governments, etc.)
  • To support the implementation of LED processes in local governments as well as in cross-border areas
  • To build the institutional capacities of local governments and national and local stakeholders
  • To develop and intensify information sharing among African LED stakeholders

LEDNA principles for the implementation of its activities:

  • To facilitate LED activities and work with local stakeholders
  • To work with existing institutions
  • To harmonize and coordinate LED partners
  • To provide LED protagonists with LEDNA information and services

The LEDNA Program enjoys financial support from the Swiss Cooperation, the European Union, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development (MAEDI) and UCLG Africa. It has also been a recipient of funding from UNCDF, ILO, GIZ and USAID

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