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Academic Represents UKZN at SADC Development Workshop

2013/04/26 11:04:00 AM

A senior academic in the School of Management, Information Technology and Governance, Professor Purshottama Reddy, attended a workshop in Luanda, Angola aimed at development in the SADC region.

Prof Purshottama Reddy
The workshop titled “Local Government and Local Development in SADC” was a joint initiative of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF), United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Delegates were hosted jointly by the Mozambican Minister of State Administration and Angolan Minister of Territorial Administration.

The meeting was a gathering of ministers, permanent secretaries, directors of local government, secretary-generals of local government associations and representatives of local government in Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Participants also included the AU’s All Africa Ministerial Conference on Decentralisation and Local Development (AMCOD) and Southern Africa Regional Organisation of the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (SARO-UCLGA), as well as representatives of universities and training institutions.

The meeting discussed the role of local government in promoting development in the region and the importance of engagement with SADC countries. More specifically, it sought to agree on the regional development priorities for local government and development to inform programming and resource mobilisation in the region. 

Core issues that came under discussion included: the role of local government in the SADC region; the role of SADC in promoting local government policy dialogue and local development and programmatic priorities.

Reddy served as a discussant for a paper titled, ‘Promoting Sustainable Local Development through Local Governments in the SADC Region: Towards Closer Regional Co-operation and Integration’. He highlighted good practices in relation to decentralisation, gaps in government “mandates” and “service delivery”, the need for political commitment, the role of local government in the localisation of the MDGs, the inclusion of local government in SADC policy and programming, the need for international organisations like the CLGF, UNCDF and UNDP to provide guidance, direction and technical support, political clout and credibility, and the importance of academia and research organisations in knowledge production and dissemination of information in the region.

According to Reddy the workshop concluded with a call for a local government desk to be established to monitor and track SADC policy development and provide a platform for local government input into SADC processes.

‘Participants acknowledged the role of academic and training institutions, recognised the value of research and noted the limited availability of action-based research on local government in the region,’ said Reddy.

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