Commonwealth Local Government Forum

Virtual business planning training

26 August 2020


CLGF, in partnership with the Botswana Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and BALA, the national local government association, has delivered the first day, of a 10-day training course on Virtual Business Planning.


Funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (formerly DFID),  the training is part of the Upscaling Developmental Local Governance through Local EconUKomic Development (LED) Project. The aim of the training is to build the capacity of local authorities to develop bankable business plans for identified projects, as part of the LED process. All participating local authorities had undergone training to develop LED strategies and business concepts, or concept notes, which are the precursors to bankable business plans. The expectation is that, following the training, the local authorities will go on to develop their respective business plans.


Training objectives

The training session was opened by Mr Pelaelo Tsayang, Principal District Development Plans Coordinator, who outlined the objectives of the training. The first aim was to give participants a common understanding of the context, purpose, tools and processes necessary to develop bankable business plans. Next, participants would be equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to transform the business concepts into implementable business plans, as part of a wider value chain. He continued to describe how participants would gain the skills to facilitate the integration of LED projects into the local development planning; and then, to share best practice in identifying different sources and types of instruments to finance implementation of business plans.


Importance of sustainability

The importance of the projects being sustainable was emphasised by the trainer, Mr Dan Aquaye, who said: “In order to ensure the sustainability of the projects beyond the availability of a donor, or government funding, the projects must be conceptualised from a profit generating perspective”.


The many local authorities benefiting from this training, included: Botswana-Boteti, Goodhope, Lobatse, South East, Ghanzi, Chobe, City of Francistown, Sowa and Kgalagadi. Also taking part were municipalities from Zambia: Ndola, Kafue, Mporokoso, Mpulungu, Luanshya, Kasama, Luwingu, Chongwe, Lupososhi, Rufunsa and Masaiti.


New ways of working

Ms Nyasha Simbanegavi, Programme Manager of CLGF Southern Africa, explained: “This is our first virtual training, as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic which has seen national and international boundaries closed because of the lockdowns currently in place. We are excited to continue with our LED, work despite the current challenges facing the world and are grateful to our sponsor, DFID, which is currently funding this work”. 


This is just one example of how CLGF is working hard across the Commonwealth to adapt project plans and activities to ensure that the important development work of local government continues, even in the time of this all-consuming pandemic. 


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