The SADC Ministers of Local Government Meeting began in Harare amid expectations that deliberations will centre on lobbying for the institutionalisation of the local government sector in the regional blocs mainstream activities.The meeting of Permanent Secretaries, which began this Wednesday ahead of the Ministers of Local Government Meeting, is discussing the full involvement of the sector in the regional blocâ€™s main activities and programmes.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development, Mr Killion Mupingo, said if the recommendation is adopted by SADC, then it will enhance the operations of the regional local governments and pave way for cooperation in areas of common interest.
He said, â€œAs we are having preparatory meetings ahead of the Ministersâ€™ meeting, we certainly hope that if the local government sector is institutionalised we will be able to cooperate in various activities of common interests.â€
The meeting will also discuss the draft findings of a study on the status of local governments, frameworks around decentralisation, service delivery, local government funding and capacity building for Southern African local governments.
Dr Ignatius Chombo is assuming the chairmanship of the forum until the next forum meeting next year.
At its last meeting in Luanda, Angola, the forum agreed that Angola, Botswana and Namibia should actively lobby to the SADC executive secretary for the inclusion of the item of institutionalisation on the agendas of the SADC Council of Ministers Meeting in March 2011 and the Heads of State Summit in August 2011.