East Africa Local Governments Forum Retreat Fosters Devolution and Economic Development


The East Africa Local Governments Forum concluded its annual retreat at the Kenya School of Government with a focus on enhancing cooperation and coordination to deepen devolution and regional integration within the East African Community (EAC).

Representatives from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi, Congo, and Somalia convened to discuss strategies for strengthening national-local partnerships and advancing the devolution agenda.

Former Permanent Secretary from Uganda, Mr. Patrick Mutabwire, shared his insights on the importance of institutionalizing the East African Local Government Forum within the EAC framework. He emphasized the critical role of local governments in addressing issues affecting communities and stressed the need for their active participation in national and international discussions.

Mutabwire highlighted the forum’s emphasis on local economic development, stressing the importance of empowering local governments to attract investments and stimulate economic growth at the grassroots level. He emphasized the significance of measuring development not only at the national level but also at the local government and county levels, urging officials to focus on improving the welfare of households and fostering entrepreneurship.

Innovative financing mechanisms were also a key focus of the discussions, with presentations from experts like Dr. Jenifer Bukhohe of UNCDF showcasing successful projects such as municipal bonds. These initiatives demonstrated the potential for local governments and counties to leverage innovative financing to fund development projects beyond their current resources.

The retreat served as a platform for exchanging ideas and exploring opportunities to enhance the capacity of local governments in driving sustainable development. By fostering collaboration and innovation, the East Africa Local Governments Forum aims to empower local authorities to better serve their communities and contribute to the overall prosperity of the region.

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