Committee on Local Finances for Development publishes activity report 2012

With a mission to promote the financing of local governments, the Committee on Local Finances for Development (CLFD) deploys a number of “pilot” activities on the African

continent, with the intention to extend them to all sections of UCLG.
Africities Summit in Dakar gave the opportunity to the Committee on Local Finances to encompass and coordinate a network of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) from over 30 African cities.
Thanks to this network, it has been possible to gather financial data on these cities and launch, in conjunction with UCLG Africa, an operation on a larger scale covering the “state of local finances in Africa”: the objective is to collect financial and institutional data for six cities per country by relying on CFOs network members. This study is a test phase for the observatory of local finances whose feasibility study is conducted jointly. Analyzes produced by this tool should help to strengthen the advocacy for financial and budgetary autonomy of Local Governments.
Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA), an evaluation framework for financial management, has been presented to the CFO’s gathered in Dakar as a tool for capacity building for Local Governments. It has already been implemented in 5 African Local Governments. By highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of local management, this methodology allows better targeting of actions to be taken under a program of capacity building, ensures the possible coordination of donors, as well as identifies national reforms that will help increase local governments capacities for financial management. This evaluation also promotes Local Governments‘s access to loans. A PEFA training program for CFOs is being developed with the CLFD partners.
During Africities, the network of CFOs also participated to a session on funding local infrastructures by the Land Value. A first pilot project on the latter subject has emerged. CLFD could launch, in connection with the Global Fund for Cities Development, a more ambitious program that capitalizes on past experiences and helps disseminate later, on a large scale, a methodological guide, much-anticipated by the professionals who attended this workshop.
A partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB) is currently being formalized within the context of the implementation of the urban strategy of the AfDB. A side event jointly organized by UCLG Africa and CLFD will be held at the Annual Meetings of the AfDB in May in Marrakech, and will highlight the challenges of development and financing of Local Governments.
The Africities Summit was also an opportunity for CLFD to broaden its activities to other regional sections of UCLG thanks to the participation of a CFO of a Mexican city. He participated in the sessions and gave to the Committee a number of financial information on the city. He is the first focal point of the CLFD in the region.
The committee is also in contact with several countries in the Mediterranean area. Invited by the Mayor of Rabat, President of CLFD, the Marseille Center for Mediterranean Integration organized a seminar dedicated to municipal finance. It was an opportunity to discuss issues related to the financial autonomy of Local Governments in the region and promote a platform of knowledge on urbanization in the Mediterranean space.