GIZ Annual Planning Meeting

The Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) held its annual planning meeting for 2014 at the Hotel Framotel, Kribi, Cameroon from 29 to 31 January 2014.

The workshop participants were drawn largely from the partners for GIZ-AMCOD/ UCLG Africa Support Programme as well as other stakeholders such as the Municipal Development Partnerships for Eastern and Southern Africa (MDP-ESA); East Africa Local Government Association (EALGA);  and the  Fonds Spécial d’Equipement et d’Intervention Intercommunale (FEICOM) of Cameroon.

As this was the last year of the current operational programme, the activities planned for this year had to be limited to what could be feasibly executed within the year without risking spill-over into next year as this would then fall out of the current funding purview. Notable achievements of the partnership programme of AMCOD and the UCLG Africa were the completion of the African Charter on Local Governance and the proposed creation of a High Council of Local Governments. The former will usher in high profile document that charts the values on which local government would be championed in Africa. Such a document is essential to guide African governments on how the local government institutions should be conceived and set up. The Charter is expected to be presented to the African Union for its adoption this year.

The proposal for the establishment of a High Council of Local Governments will also be presented to the African Union this year. If adopted, it will, for the first time, provide an interactive platform for local governments to articulate their concerns and recommendations to the highest political organ for Africa. It will also provide a platform for harmonising policies across Africa, a major contributor to African unity in the future.

The workshop also considered other activities such as the proposed introduction of an Award Scheme for Excellence in Local Governance and the promotion and capacity building of women serving in local governments as one of the strategies to enhance gender equity.

Workshop participants also reiterated the need to work towards renewing German support for the programme as it was considered essential that the initiatives started require further support in order to strengthen their sustainability.