Local Economic Development

Summary: Providing good governance in local government systems is no easy task and requires professional administration and strong leadership. Under this pillar we offer learning solutions to train and develop the skills of officers and technical managers to help local governments achieve their mandates.


The LEDNA program is a Pan-African initiative for the promotion of local economic development (LED). Following a request from African mayors, the program was proposed to the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) at the Africities 4 Summit in Nairobi, 2006.  In response, LEDNA was created as an initiative that would build the capacities and practices of local governments in the field of LED.

LEDNA was founded on two important principles both integral to its work: to create a platform for sharing information, experiences and knowledge on local economic development between African countries (www.ledna.org); and with regard to operations, to create a more conducive national institutional environment for LED for local governments in the field of capacity building and the organizing of local processes for local economic development.

LEDNA Vision

  • To make local economic development a vehicle for national economic development, poverty alleviation and the improvement of people’s living conditions.

LEDNA Mission

  • To support local governments and countries that have expressed a need for the acquisition of knowledge, training of human resources and development and implementation of LED programs/ projects.


The LEDNA program has a Steering Committee comprised of five mayors representing each of the African sub-regions.

The Steering Committee

This is the governing and steering body of the program. It is representative of African local governments with five mayors, each representing one of the five African integration regions i.e. West Africa (Mali), Central Africa (Congo), East Africa (Tanzania), Southern Africa (Mozambique) and Northern Africa (Morocco) and is chaired by Mr. Mohamed Sadiki, the mayor of the City of Rabat (Morocco) and a member of the Executive Committee of UCLG Africa.

The Steering Committee meets once a year with a remit to:

  • Steer and oversee LEDNA’s strategic priorities.
  • Approve the annual work program as well as the annual budget
  • Evaluate the work of the coordinator and team
  • Manage 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 management of the program. Its members are local experts and stakeholders involved in local economic development (LED) and decentralization.

Membership of the Advisory Committee is flexible and changes dependent on the issues being addressed by LEDNA and the various expertise of committee members. Membership does not incur a fee or entitlement to remuneration.

Its main tasks are to:

  • Advise the Steering Committee.
  • Coach the restricted team
  • Promote LEDNA activities in their regions
  • Conduct a critical analysis of options for implementation and monitoring; and facilitate monitoring and evaluation
  • Manage the dissemination of program documents
  • Support the development of program documents

LEDNA’s annual meetings are scheduled to take place alongside the annual meeting of the Steering Committee.  Annual meetings review agenda items and issues with ensuing recommendations presented to the Steering Committee.

The Operational Team

This is a restricted team that has two main components: Permanent full-time staff that includes a coordinator and online facilitator; and part-time staff that includes LED and ICT experts and regional facilitators.


Video of the Program Director, Mr. François Paul Yatta (New video to be produced)

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.