Commonwealth Local Government Forum

Projects in Southern Africa

Programmes and projects  in Southern Africa are helping CLGF to work more closely with members, build on the success of past activities and strengthen its regional presence. More detailed information about activities and projects can be found on the country pages. 

Supporting local governance and local economic development in Southern Africa (2012-2016)

CLGF’s programme on Supporting local governance and local economic development in Southern Africa is designed to improve capacity (individual, institutional and organisational) for better local council service delivery within the context of developmental local government. The programme builds on CLGF’s previous work in the region, working with a range of local government stakeholders and runs from 2012-2016. The programme is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID)

The programme aims to:

  • improve skills, knowledge and organisational capacity for local authorities to deliver local economic development (LED) services
  • enhance national policy making and supporting frameworks to facilitate effective local government service delivery
  • build better regional engagement on local government policy, and
  • strengthen CLGF’s own advocacy capacities within the region and internationally.

As part of the programme, CLGF is supporting a range of activities at regional, national and local levels. The project has helped councils become familiar with LED, develop economic assessments of their areas, and bring together local stakeholders to develop and implement LED strategies for improving local capacity, skills and investment. 

In July 2016, a regional dissemination conference was held for all the participating councils to share their experiences and assess how LED can help in delivering the SDGs. The studies will also guide CLGF’s ongoing programme in the region.
CLGF Southern Africa Regional Conference

Strengthening local government's role as a partner in development (2014-2017) 

This project, funded by the EC within the strategic partnership agreement between CLGF and the EC, is focused on improving local  governance and development  in line with the EC's policy on empowering local authorities. In Southern Africa it will support local government organisations and institutions in the region to come together, share experience and develop a joint position on localising the SDGs, as well as build their capacity to interact with their national EC delegations. This project will also continue to support establishing more formal links and mechanisms of dialogue with SADC. The project will support one national pilot project on localising the SDGs through policy and practical actions at both the national and local level.

Strenthening capacity for local governance and service delivery in Zimbabwe

This European Commission funded project runs from January, 2015 to June, 2017 and aims to strengthen local authority capacity in the context of the new constitutional provisions. More specifically, it will strengthen their capacity to interpret and implement the provisions of the Constitution, improve stakeholder and citizen participation in local governance, and strengthen the institutional and delivery capacity of the associations of local authorities to represent local government in policy making Zimbabwe. It will support local authorities and associations to contribute towards a more equitable, democratic and open society. 

Previous programmes in Southern Africa

Commonwealth local government Good Practice Scheme

One of the flagship programmes and delivery mechanisms for supporting local government in the region was the Commonwealth Local Government Good Practice Scheme which, in Africa, ran from 1998 until 2011The programme facilitated partnership projects between local authorities  Ghana and South Africa with counterparts in India and the United Kingdom, and ran alongside similar schemes in South Asia and the Pacific.

Projects included: the development of a job brokerage system; assistance in reviving heritage tourism through mobilisation of local stakeholders; economic development and tourism strategies; strengthening local government association lobbying and advocacy work; promoting community safety; supporting SMMEs; facilitating LED in the agricultural sector; establishing and integrated marketing and events bureau and attracting inward investment for job creation.

More information on the Commonwealth Local Government Good Practice Scheme.

Zimbabwe Local Democracy enhancement project

This project, which ran from 2003-2008, focused on five cities in Zimbabwe to assess the state of democracy in the selected municipalities using UN-Habitat Urban Governance Index and peer review mechanisms, a tool developed by the project, leading to implementation of change plans in the councils.

As a result, a step-by-step guide on conducting an effective peer review process was produced and the project was rolled out in a further ten municipalities and extended to Zambia, the Gambia and Ghana.

Local government international peer review toolkit.

Knowledge hub

Knowledge hub

Search the Southern Africa section of the knowledge hub



Southern Africa regional office

Regional office

Contact CLGF's office in Southern Africa



Board Members

Board Members

CLGF Board members for the Southern Africa region



News from CLGF Southern Africa

Southern Africa news

Latest CLGF local government news and information from Southern Africa

South Africa
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