As the Local Authorities Capacity Enhancement Project 2 is coming to an end on the 31st of August 2021 after 42 months of implementation in Zimbabwe there was a LACEP 2 Final Conference held yesterday at the Harare International Conference Centre under the theme “Building Resilient Local Authorities Through Promoting Strong Public Financial Management Systems”.
The LACEP 2 project ran from March 2018 to August 2021 and was funded by the delegation of the European Union to Zimbabwe. It was implemented in collaboration with Municipal Development Partnership, Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe and the Association of Rural District Councils of Zimbabwe and it was carried out in five local authorities with two from the urban side namely Lupane local board and Redcliff Municipality. On the rural district side there was Mangwe RDC, Mwenezi RDC and Zibagwe RDC. The project was aimed at ensuring effective, efficient and participatory development at local level by enhancing service delivery.
The Secretary General of the Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe, Mr L. Mutekede, in his opening remarks thanked the European Union funded LACEP 2 project for helping local authorities in their programs. “It was through LACEP that we were able to come together as UCAZ and ARDCZ under the ZILGA banner to come up with a position paper on devolution after a consultative process with the local authorities”, he said. The LACEP 2 project also gave support to local authorities in the implementation of the Service Level Benchmark.
Present at the conference was the Head of Cooperation for the European Union delegation in Zimbabwe, Mr Franck Porte who was representing the EU ambassador H.E Timo Olkkonen in absentia. He overemphasized the benefits that the LACEP2 project brought about to local authorities and some of the benefits include public financial management, automated and integrated databases, citizen engagement through chatbots and the mainstreaming of gender equality in local authorities.
There was a handover ceremony whereby the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works, represented by the Permanent Secretary Mr Z. Churu received handbooks for Draft Accounting Policies and Procedures Manuals for local authorities from Mr Porte. In his speech Mr Porte said, “I am glad that the EU has been a long-standing partner in the capacity building of the local government sector in Zimbabwe.” He also urged local authorities to continue in this trajectory initiated by the LACEP 2 project.
To watch the full proceedings, use the link below