Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka launched UN-HABITAT’s latest training publication entitled, “Financial Management for Local Government”, at the opening session of a high level housing finance conference held in Accra Ghana. The four-day conference brought together the Government of Ghana, the United States, bankers, business, finance and private sector officials from the West Africa region. The meeting was opened by President John Kufuor of Ghana, the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Mr. Alphonso Jackson and UN-HABITAT Executive Director Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka.
During the opening press conference Mrs. Tibaijuka presented Ghana’s Water Resources, Works and Housing Minister Hackman Owusu-Agyemang with the first copy of this series. In her statement she noted that: “Financial management is a key competency, since without robust, transparent and accountable systems, local governments will not be credible partners in the development of our cities.” She further observed that financial management was the tie that bound UN-HABITAT’s twin mandates of ‘adequate shelter for all’ and ‘sustainable human settlements’.
“Training and capacity building is the key to ensuring that city governments are able to target public investments in land and infrastructure, plan more efficiently, and create a huge revenue base through efficient tax collection”, she concluded.
The series is a first of its kind, in that it is the most comprehensive and internationally relevant. Having been in development for over two years in consultation with over twenty internationally renowned public finance experts the series is an important addition to the Training and Capacity Building Branch’s array of tools targeting local governments and their stakeholders. Already the series has generated considerable interest with countries from Africa and the Pacific Region likely to be among the first to use them. The series will be disseminated through a variety of partnerships, including UN-HABITAT’s Slum Upgrading Facility, and the Commonwealth Local Government Forum Pacific Regional Office in Fiji.
Published by Earthscan, thanks to the generous support from the Government of the Netherlands, it will be available for purchase early in 2007.