Local Government Critical to Development

| June 17, 2015

The Commonwealth Local Government Conference is a principal vehicle and platform for member countries to share experiences with national stakeholders on the need to progressively enhance local governments.

Local government, President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama said, was at the forefront of government implementation processes and service delivery through giving a direct link and being a focal point to the people that government served.

Officially opening the conference in Gaborone yesterday (June 16), President Khama said it provided a fundamental pillar in people-centred development.

He said the theme of the conference: Local Government 2030: Achieving the Vision, was appropriate and timely in that it clearly recognised the role of empowered developmental local governments in achieving the goals and targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda by 2030.

“As we join the global community in expressing our commitment to these goals, targets and principles that underpin the SDGs agenda, we equally remain alive to the imperative to domesticate them in the context of our national development frameworks,” he said.

He said a decentralised governance framework and empowered local governments and communities are critical to the localisation of national development.

Further, the President noted that localisation of resources entailed the development and, in some cases, the sharpening of systems to facilitate targeted inter-governmental fiscal transfers, enhancing capacities and opportunities for revenue generation by local governments and developing systems to ensure effective and efficient utilisation of available resources.

He, however, said beyond taking measures to domesticate and localise the SGDs agenda, it was also important to reflect some perspective in relation to the development of performance indicators that the countries could use to demonstrate their national commitment to localising national development. The Commonwealth Local

Government Conference is expected to share development challenges and determine cost effective ways of improving local governance and service delivery.

The conference is one of the main international events for local government politicians, practitioners, academia and others in the Commonwealth countries, with a focus on priorities for local governments post 2015.

It is held every two years in any of the Commonwealth countries, and Botswana is hosting the eighth conference, following the one in Uganda in 2013.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Governance

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