Advocacy and Mobilization

In the East Africa Region decentralization has had a chequered history. With varying degrees of democratic and decentralized reforms, most of the countries in East Africa have undergone the transition to multi-party forms of governance, but are still currently undertaking wide-ranging programs of local government reforms aimed at enhancing decentralization even further.

At the East Africa Regional Office, we are currently delivering a range of services to our members aimed at working towards enhancing this process with lobbying and advocating activities that promote the benefits of decentralization, such as improved efficiency and poverty reduction.

Our interventions that drive advocacy & mobilization include:

  • Acting as the regional interface for lobbying activities promoting decentralization.
  • Provision of capacity building through technical and financial support to local governments around the decentralization process
  • CEE Rating for the popularization and assessment of decentralization
  • Measuring and performance recognition of decentralization
  • Strengthening dialogue between LGAs and the EU and its cooperation partners

National Dialogues

National Dialogues in the East Africa Region will focus on developing lobbying activities in favor of the ratification of the African Charter on the Values and Principles of Decentralization, Local Governance and Development.

Regional Dialogues

Regional Dialogues will continue around the ratification of the African Charter, but in particular the regional office will work with the East Africa Community to ensure a representation of local government at the level of the region’s economic commission. In Eastern Africa, apart from members of the East African Community (EAC) and Southern African Development Community (SADC), other countries are not part of deeply rooted RECs. They are, however, members of other intergovernmental bodies such as the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) that are also central in the economic development agenda of members. There also exist regional bodies such as the Association of Mayors for the Indian Ocean countries, which are of interest to our mandate in the region, which we will also lobby.

Continental Dialogues

Continental Dialogues promoting the benefits and celebrating the achievements of decentralization are an important aspect of our work in East Africa and establishing the High Council of Local Authorities (HCLA) as a Consultative Organ of the African Union. It is an institutional framework designed and adopted to promote effective participation of Africans, particularly the people at the local level in the African Union policy and decision processes. The Council will support mutual interaction and feedback on citizens’ needs and priorities at the local level. The overarching aim of the HCLA is to transform the African Union as an organization that is largely steered by its central government to one that effectively engages the participation of the local population.

With the key events across the region including Africa Decentralization Day celebrations, and hosting the Tanzania Mayor Awards, we aim to provide platforms to promote the benefits of decentralization.  Important work also includes strengthening the dialogue with Europe by encouraging and promoting cooperative partnership between the EU and African Local Government.

Global Dialogues

Global Dialogues have focussed primarily on localizing the SDGs, promoting the Climate Change and New Urban Agendas.