East Africa: Strengthening local government’s role as partner in Development

The UCLG Africa Regional Office for East Africa (EARO) director, Dr. Juma M. NYENDE, took part in the meeting held by the CLGF–Commonwealth Local Governments Forum in Kampala, Uganda, from 7 to 9 December 2016.

The conference was informative and worthwhile. The purpose of the event was to update colleagues on the progress of the East African Local Government Forum; share experiences on implementing LED and localizing the SDGs; and strategies for engaging more effectively with the European Union.

The meeting was technical in nature and there was no formal outcomes statement, however a number of key priorities did emerge from the discussions, which should guide forthcoming meetings, not least the Secretary-Generals meeting, provisionally in the first quarter of 2017, and the next East African Local Government Forum meeting when Rwanda assumes the Chair from the current Chair, Burundi. In summary, participants:

  • Welcomed the opportunity to share good practice at a regional level and the value of the on-going south-south ooperation and exchange.
  • Emphasized the need to focus on implementation of the EALGF strategic plan and to review capacity building systems for local government in the region.
  • Highlighted the importance of full empowerment of local government and the crucial importance of continuing to advocate for adequate resources at the local level to enable local government to play a full role in achieving sustainable development. This will require a strengthened relationship between central and local government to enable appropriate policy change.
  • Welcomed collaboration with CLGF and further opportunities to convene at a regional level, including through policy research, joint programs and via information sharing partnerships. This could include research and assessments on the status of SDG implementation.