Commonwealth Local Government Forum

Thanking our outgoing Board

19 March 2024

 

As we welcome the 2023-2025 Board into office, and our new Chairperson and Vice Chairpersons, Mayor Bernard Wagner, Belize City, Belize, Hon David Kolade Alabi, ALGON, Nigeria and Hon Georges Elanga Obam, MINDDEVEL, Cameroon, into their new roles we want to pay tribute to our outgoing Board Members for their tremendous support. They were instrumental in steering the organisation through very difficult times during the global Pandemic, but also in ensuring that we have been able to adjust to the changing post-pandemic environment that we continue to navigate.

Positive leadership

This is also a moment for us to acknowledge the tremendous work of our former Chairperson, now Immediate Past Chairperson, Rev Mpho MW Moruakgomo, and to appreciate his positive leadership throughout his eight-year term of office as Chairperson of CLGF. His term ended up being significantly longer than anticipated, due to the global pandemic, and CLGF was lucky to have his vision and dedication at the head of the organisation during that period.

Strong advocate 

Welcoming members and partners to the Commonwealth Local Government Conference in Kigali, Rwanda, alongside hosts Hon Jean Claude Musabyimana, MINALOC, and Cllr Jeannette Nyiramasengesho, RALGA in November 2023 was definitely a highlight of Rev Mpho’s period as Chairperson, and a symbol of the strength of the local government family across the Commonwealth. Rev Mpho has been a consistently strong advocate for empowering local government in his own country, Botswana, where he was for a long time the President of the local government association. During his time at CLGF, Rev Mpho MW Moruakgomo has carried the voice of CLGF members into international negotiations with the UN and the EU; he has met on a number of occasions with the Secretary General of the Commonwealth to promote greater understanding of a stronger voice and role for local government in the Commonwealth; and he played an instrumental role in advocating for the Commonwealth’s Declaration on Sustainable Urbanisation which was adopted in 2022 at the last Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, recognising specifically the importance of a more coordinated approach to tackling the climate emergency and rapid urbanisation in the Commonwealth. He will continue to champion the importance of local action to meet the Sustainable Development Goals and the role of local economic development in strengthening and empowering local communities.

Legacy of collaboration

As we go forward we will work to build on his legacy of collaboration, intergovernmental partnership, and empowerment to ensure a strong voice for local government across the Commonwealth, but also to ensure our members have the capacity and resources to deliver for those they represent. As our Immediate Past Chairperson Rev Mpho MW Moruakgomo will take on an ex-officio role on the Board so we will still have the continuity of his experience as we work with the new leadership to strengthen and grow the organisation and its work.

 

Ms Lucy Slack concluded the tribute by saying: "On a personal note, as CLGF's Secretary-General, I should like to thank Rev Mpho for his wise advice, ever present support, and warm friendship throughout these times of change." 

 

Onwards and upwards! 

 

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