Why CLGC2017 is important for local government
06 September 2017
Earlier this week, we caught up with CLGF Chairperson and President of the Botswana Association of Local Authorities (BALA) Cllr Rev Mpho, on his way to a High Level Panel meeting on the New Urban Agenda and UN Habitat, representing CLGF in New York
With only 70 or so days left before the start of the Commonwealth Local Government Conference – CLGC2017 – in the Maltese capital, Valletta, we asked Cllr Rev Mpho why this conference is so important for local government stakeholders throughout the Commonwealth. Cllr Rev Mpho is attending this year’s conference as CLGF Chairperson but, two short years ago, together with BALA and the Ministry of Local Government, he played a central role in hosting the 2015 conference in Gaborone, Botswana and we asked him about the benefits of hosting the event.
CLGC2017 builds on the very ambitious Vision 2030 declaration made at the 2015 conference, when delegates called on CLGF to develop a 15 year strategy to support local government in implementing and localising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Cllr Rev Mpho explained: "The importance of local government’s involvement in development is irrefutable, but the big issue now is how we find the finance and capacity to enable local government to deliver better services and achieve the SDGs."
He continued: "CLGC 2017 is an important springboard and an ideal opportunity to bring key players in development together at the start of this work. Everyone needs to get on board to share experiences and ideas about how we can enhance our capabilities and find new and innovative ways of financing; to create partnerships and opportunities for everyone. If there are no resources, the SDGs will just remain a mirage."
Hosting the 2015 conference elicited a number of benefits for local government in Botswana. Tangibly this includes a new national framework for Local Economic Development; and CLGF is also working with BALA to develop a national decentralisation policy. Cllr Rev Mpho was also keen to explain that the conference helped to energise the national dialogue on decentralisation. "Bringing experts from around the world to Botswana was inspiring and provided opportunities for discussion and many exchanges of good practice."
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