Some 26 participants last week successfully took part in a Training of Trainers workshop as part of a joint initiative between UN-HABITAT and the Centre for International Cooperation of Israel (MASHAV).
The event, promoting Local Economic Development (LED) through strategic planning for the Eastern Africa sub-region, was run by UN-HABITAT and the Weitz Centre for Development Studies of Israel deployed by MASHAV.
Organized in cooperation with the East Africa Local Government Association (EALGA), the Association of Local Government Authorities of Kenya (ALGAK), and the Government Training Institute, the workshop brought together 26 participants from Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, representing local authorities, national local government associations, national training institutions and national local government ministries.
The collaboration with MASHAV is the first one under a memorandum of understanding, signed between Israel and UN-HABITAT to collaborate on training and capacity building activities. The agreement was signed by the Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, on 14 March 2005 during a visit to Israel.
The four-day workshop was based on the LED training manuals developed by UN-HABITAT and EcoPLan International, which promote an inclusive, participatory process that integrates strategic planning, community participation, sustainability and good decision-making into local economic development.
It exposed participants to locally owned and driven LED approaches, and allowed them to share experiences, including from Israel. The participants from Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania drew-up action plans to promote local and national LED activities in their respective countries.
In March this year a similar workshop involving over 20 national training institutions of different countries in Asia was held in Shanghai China. LED will also be one of the topics for UN-HABITAT activities during the third session of the World Urban Forum to be held in Vancouver in June 2006.