ICLD has recently signed agreements for collaboration with three important local government associations in Southern Africa.
– By entering alliances with key actors at the local level in Botswana, South Africa and Zambia, we can strengthen support for municipalities and spread important democratic results to more areas of the region, says Johan Lilja, Secretary General of ICLD
The newly signed MoUs (memorandum of understandings) are with the Local Government Association of Zambia (LGAZ), Botswana Association of Local Authorities (BALA) and South African Local Government Association (SALGA). They open new possibilities and channels to forward capacity development of local democracy in the region and the agreements are the first of their kind for ICLD.
The MoUs establish joint steering groups between ICLD and the local government associations. These will identify possible areas of collaboration and joint projects that are of benefit to the local governments. The purpose is to find new ways of forwarding important democratic core values, such as equity, participation, transparency and accountability.
– Through a combined approach of creating new networks for human rights in Southern Africa and establishing alliances with these key actors at the local level, ICLD will increase our ability to create and disseminate strong democratic results, says Johan Lilja, Secretary General of ICLD.
MoUs for a broader democratic impact
ICLD’s work in the region of Southern Africa has increased significantly during the last year with the start of the new networks for human rights. A part of ICLD’s strategy for contributing to broader democratic impact is to allow democratic results from municipalities within the programmes to be disseminated further. Since local government associations in ICLD’s cooperation countries play an important role in coordinating, training and strengthening municipalities and regions play a crucial role in this work, the signature of MoUs is an important step forward in this strategy.
MoU with SALGA
In mid-March, the agreement with SALGA of South Africa was highlighted by the organisation’s CEO, Xolile George, during a meeting with United Cities and Local Governments Africa.
– We have signed this agreement to look at areas of capacity building and how to empower functionaries in our cities in South Africa. Let’s not hide this important development, says Xolile George.