UKZN Academic Participates in Commonwealth Local Government Forum
Towards Localising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Southern Africa was the theme of a Conference hosted by the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) for its Southern Africa Region in Lusaka, Zambia in June.
UKZN Public Governance expert, Professor Purshottama Reddy was a respondent to a background paper titled: Local Government and Local Economic Development in southern Africa: Towards the Localisation of the SDGs.
The CLGF has been active in southern Africa since1995 and aims to support members in localising the SDGs through promoting local economic development and gender equality. It works with the ministries responsible for local government, national local government associations and local governments to implement decentralisation, improve inter-governmental relationships, and build the capacity of local governments to improve governance and service delivery.
Reddy’s response highlighted that it is vital for local government to ensure that the best and most capable staff are recruited to ensure efficient and effective discharge of services to both meet the SDGs and facilitate LED.
He noted with concern that many countries in the southern Africa region have invested in skills and capacity development, but this has not resulted in significant enhancement of capacity and improvement in local government performance. He suggested that political and management will, are required to ensure robust and successful LED and localisation of the SDGs.
Reddy acknowledges that, globally, LED is a driver of poverty reduction, women’s empowerment and inclusive growth. It should thus be prioritised by senior municipal functionaries and possibly be mainstreamed in local administration.
Commenting on the conference, Reddy said: ‘The CLGF has always been active and has shown a visible presence in this part of the world. It is good to see that the drive and momentum to steer local government in the right direction are still there.’