Commonwealth Local Government Forum

Putting the local into government

29 August 2021


Over the past two weeks, the Dullah Omar Institute, University of Western Cape, together with the Addis Ababa University - with support from CLGF and the Hanns Seidel Foundation - hosted the Africa School on Decentralisation. 


The School examined decentralisation concepts and practice, together with the interrelationship between decentralisation and development in Africa. CLGF’s Chairperson, Rev Mpho Moruakgomo, as part of the opening of the School noted that:


“Decentralisation anchors on the principle of subsidiarity; principle of social organisation that holds that social and political issues are best dealt with at the most immediate, or local level. Due to their proximity to the people, local governments are best placed to identify where the needs are and to form the required partnerships to transform people’s lives. For effective development to be realised, the needs and priorities of the people have to be collectively and clearly defined locally through effective participation by communities”. 

Platform for academia and industry

The Africa Decentralisation School provided a platform for international scholars, academic and industry experts to discuss:


• The theory and practice of decentralisation;

• Federalism and local government;

• The African Union Charter on the Values and Principles of Decentralisation;

• The role of subnational governments in Africa in advancing development;

• Decentralisation common trends, challenges, good practices and successes that we can learn from the case studies; and 

• Decentralisation and development, public finances, local economic development, urbanisation, and informality.


Various state officials, governance practitioners, members of local and international NGOs, post-graduate students and researchers from 25 countries participated in the School.

CLGF support for decentralisation

For many years CLGF has been supporting decentralisation not only in Africa, but in other countries through promoting local democracy and good governance; strengthening local government capacity and policy development, and also works to network local government stakeholders to share learning and good practice. 


For more information on the work currently being undertaken on decentralisation by CLGF, members and its partners, take a look at the knowledge hub.


Decentralisation ensures effective governance and development at the local level, which is the foundation for a strong nation


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