More than forty African mayors, councillors, government officials, directors of local authorities, city treasurers, and resource persons from civic organizations, private sector, and partners in decentralized governance and capacity building converged at a three-day Regional Workshop in Harare, Zimbabwe on 6-8 March 2007 to explore practical ways of engaging citizens in local budget formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. The gathering under the theme "Citizen Engagement in Participatory Budgeting in Africa" was hosted by the Harare-based Municipal Development Partnership for Eastern and Southern Africa (MDP-ESA) with financial support from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). The focus of the workshop was on the potential of participatory budgeting in realizing good governance and deepening local democracy.
The regional workshop is part of UN-HABITAT's and MDP-ESA's collaboration towards building the capacity of local governments in Sub-Saharan Africa for the introduction and application of participatory budgeting as a way of realizing good governance. This process includes the development, testing, and implementation of the Participatory Budgeting Training Companion that is suitable for the Sub-Saharan African context, and the establishment of a networking and backstopping facility to facilitate dialogue, the sharing of knowledge and experiences, and the mobilization of resources for further promotion of PB in Africa. This is being done in partnership with Environnement et Développement du Tiers-Monde (ENDA) ecopop - Senegal, Centro Internacional de Gestión Urbana (CIGU) - Ecuador and World Bank.