KIGALI - Kigali is preparing to host a two-day meeting of regional local government ministers of the Commonwealth.
The workshop to be held from May 4 to 5, under the auspices of Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF), will discuss findings of a study carried out by Initiative Consultants.
The Government organised the event in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), CLGF and United National Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).
During the meeting, regional officials will examine local government financing and service delivery at grassroots levels as well as local government capacity.
“The objectives of the studies were to establish the baseline on the status of local governments in the southern and eastern regions of Africa, to highlight good practices and identify key issues affecting local governments,” the Minister of Local Government, James Musoni, said.
The workshop is expected to make key recommendations on the draft study report and the way forward.
The study was designed to respond to regional realities and emerging priorities, as articulated in various fora and communiqués by groupings of African Ministers for Local Governments.
Among these are the African Ministerial Conference of Ministers of Local Government and Decentralisation (AMCOD), East African Ministers of Local Government, Southern Africa Development Cooperation (SADC) Ministers of Local Government Forum and the respective local government associations.
The study was also commissioned to support the two regions’ efforts towards decentralised governance and local development.
Though some countries in the region have opted for the decentralisation policy, the situation is not the same in all countries.
It has thus been recommended that the region undertakes concerted and coordinated action to place decentralisation and local development at the centre of governance and development policies of their countries.
Also to be discussed is financing of local governments, which remains another challenge facing local governments in Africa.
Through decentralisation, many financial responsibilities have been transferred to local government to increase efficiency in resource allocation and utilisation.
“We expect to highlight good practices, identify gaps and capacity challenges with regards to decentralised governance, inclusive service delivery and local government financing,” Musoni asserted.
“Rwanda will take the opportunity to share its success and experience to its counterparts, and will learn a lot from them as well”.