The strength and capacity of the regional offices of UCLG Africa are essential for the effective delivery to members across the continent. Each region also has specific characteristics and the East Africa office offers an integrated program of activities that matches the needs of members. Annual Regional Strategy Meetings are held which help to set the regional objectives and shape specific programs. This regional meeting will keep the EARO office abreast of what is going on in the area of decentralization, the urgencies that need to be addressed around decentralization in East Africa, the priority actions to be taken in order that local governments become more and more reliable partners for the national governments, the regional economic communities, the development partners and the other interested stakeholders, with regard to the definition, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the development and cooperation agendas.
The very core of our work focuses on building the capacity of our members through the development of a regional resource centre that will help our members in East Africa better serve their communities. In addition, countries that are deemed to have weak decentralization processes, will be targeted and support given to help set up and strengthen existing national associations
National associations are essential players that provide requisite, demand driven support to all local governments, whether large or small, rural or urban. Local government associations provide a platform for the sharing of knowledge and experiences; joint exploration of solutions to challenges of governance including transparency and integrity; advocacy and lobbying with a unified voice for the recognition of the aspirations of the local citizens; and pursuing innovative practices to improve performance and achieve developmental goals.
Two countries in the East Africa region have been identified as not having a national association of local government, namely Madagascar and Comoros. The regional office will conduct research to establish the state of readiness for change in these countries and following this, other interventions will work towards the establishment of a national association of local authorities in the identified countries.