Driving progress in East Africa local government
17 October 2021
Kigali provided the setting for a gathering of prominent local government decision-makers from across East Africa in the first week of October in the framework of the East African Local Government Forum (EALGF) and saw Rwanda hand over the chair of the Forum to Tanzania
The combined events of the East African Local Governments Forum (EALGF) meeting and the East African Local Governments Association (EALGA) General Meeting took place over three days, with the theme: Leveraging the role of Local and County Governments to fast track achievements of the EAC Integration Agenda.
Stonger links with the EAC
CLGF’s Secretary-General, Ms Lucy Slack joined several eminent officials to open the event and provide the official welcome. She congratulated the EALGF for the progress made in enabling local government stakeholders to speak with one voice and strengthening the relationship with the East Africa Community (EAC). Other speakers were Cllr Gulam Hafiz Mukadam, outgoing Chairperson - EALGA; HE Thomas Kurz, German Ambassador to Rwanda; and Hon Jean Marie Vianney Gatabazi, Minister of Local Government, Rwanda.
The AGM included a report on the implementation and approval of reports for the year 2019/2020; the adoption of the 2021-2022 Plans; and fixing the days, venue and theme of the next EALGF event.
Decentralisation and fiscal policy
CLGF Programme Manager, Ms Claire Frost, took part in the session on the impact of decentralisation and devolution systems in the East Africa Community. Ms Frost provided an overview of key discussions which had taken among the EALGF members since the last EALGF meeting in 2018. These online exchanges, supported by CLGF, provided a space to reflect on the impact of COVID-19 on local and country governments, changes in decentralisation and fiscal policy in the region, as well as prospects for LED and trade in the EAC and ongoing support to the process of integration.
The discussions were moderated by Ladislas Ngendahimana, the Secretary General of the Rwanda Association of Local Government Authorities (RALGA), other speakers included Prof. Rizik Shemdoe, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Regional and Local Administration, Tanzania; Bob Gakire, Director-General of MINALOC, Rwanda and representatives of ALAT, ULGA, RALGA and CAF who reflected on key priorities to enable local government to play an active role in development and regional integration of the EAC.
The other key sessions included discussions on:
- Localising the SDGs in East Africa;
- Strengthening engagement with the EAC; and
- LED recovery in COVID-19 as a driver for the EAC trade and regional promotion.
The final activity of the meeting was the official handover from Rwanda to Tanzania, which welcomed the new Chair, the Minister of Local Government of Tanzania. CLGF wishes the Forum continued success in representing local government in East Africa.
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