Commonwealth Local Government Forum

Indaba in Lüderitz on LED

23 March 2024

 

Over four hundred delegates, made up of political leaders, technical council staff, representatives of local government associations, civil society, development partners and local government actors from Namibia, South Africa, Botswana and the Commonwealth Local Government Forum and UCLGA SARO, met in Lüderitz from 12 - 15 March 2024 for the first ever Association of Local Authorities of Namibia (ALAN) LED Indaba under the theme Promoting Local Economic Development through Inclusive Strategic Planning, Innovation and Diversification of Revenue Streams. Representatives of 46 local councils from across the country took part in the four day meeting and actively shared their experience, challenges and success with regard to the implementation of LED.

 

Reviewing economic development

The meeting was opened by Hon Erastus Uutoni, Minister of Local Government who encouraged local councillors to work together to maximise development for citizens. The Indaba came at a useful time for the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development which, in partnership with CLGF, has just begun a review of the existing Economic Development white paper to review and modernise policy guidance on LED. A consultation session was undertaken during the INDABA with the full event discussion being fed into the review.

 

A key issue noted by speakers during the event is the significant youth population in Namibia. The preliminary results of the 2023 Housing and Population Census (HPC) show that 71.1% of the nation are under 35 years old. As such ensuring economic opportunities for young people must be at the heart of local government’s delivery plan to remain relevant.

Addressing inequalities

CLGF was represented at the event by Ms Claire Frost, Head of Programmes who gave a keynote presentation on LED in the Commonwealth during the Indaba opening. She stressed the need to address social, economic and environmental inequalities and Namibia looked to further institutionalise LED, and encourage local actors to examine their local specificity and resources so as to build on local potential in their development planning.

 

The Indaba ended with the adoption of a declaration of intent from the ALAN membership to continue to work, exchange and partner to deliver effective LED. The full final declaration can be found here

 

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