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Prof. Dr. Israel Jacob Massuanganhe

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By Prof. Dr. Israel Jacob Massuanganhe   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Saturday, December 04, 2010
Posted: Saturday, December 04, 2010

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support failures in Africa? Africa, with enough natural resources, possesses large extension of arable land with diversity agro-ecologic conditions, but hungry and misery affects more that 1/2 of the population, with major incidence in Sub-Sahara Africa. Imagine, today is 31st December 2014. What the poor will be told tomorrow about the commitment made to reduce poverty? (Any idea?). This is evident because 1) the concept of Poverty is vague and does not reflect the real dimension of who feels and 2) the concept of capacity development in many debates has mostly stopped at the national level and rarely does the concept sufficient extended to sub national level where needs are felt, services are demanded and less attention is devoted to the role of local institutions and traditional authorities, civil society and grassroots organizations and structures that are the real agents of local development. In Africa development, less attention has been devoted to grassroots perspective and political leadership, looking local institutions and the role of traditional authorities who are leaders, holding local traditional power, spiritual power, knowledge, and essential skills to influence local community and control over the territory and cultural transmission. Traditional institutions and authorities are rarely included within plans of development that are formulated. Have mostly disregarded their potential for collective action that inheres within these institutions, partly because of ignorance and partly also because development paradigm, which is seen as “modernisation and scientific knowledge”. One way to increase the effectiveness of local government is through democratic decentralization, which involves a transfer of powers, resources, and capacity. Many developing countries have initiated this process in an effort to improve the quality of service delivery and strengthen sustainable local development. Decentralization is a vehicle to achieve the MDGs due its nature to operate at local and community level and planning is crucial to ensure participation in governance and local development. Increasingly participatory governance is emerging as a key focal area, both in its own right, and as a means for securing the MDGs, and especially poverty reduction. Decentralization and participatory processes are complex and takes years to implement, but are recognized that should play critical role to achieve the MDGs, it because the nature to work at local level. Sustainable development cannot be realized without robust strong institutions and active citizenry engaged in key decision-making. Political leaders should promote good Governance, by strengthening institutions (formal and informal structures) and public participation to address national and local development agenda. Furthermore, functional local structures and ancestral systems are of particular importance to the flourishing of a strong service delivery, which is prerequisite to any meaningful, vibrant, democratic, and decentralized governance.
The new development paradigm involves political commitment. In view to address local development, on one hand, capacity, authority and resources have to transferred, and on other hand, it’s crucial to promote citizen´s engagement at all levels. The paradigm should consider a) strengthening of Local governments, b) building capacity of Civil society organizations, including communities, leaders and traditional authorities, and finally c) Promotion of emerging Private sector - small and medium enterprises through stimulation of local economic development interventions that generate employment and income for the poor, while local institutions create enable set to address local structures and systems to promote local development.


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