ADDIS ABABA. — The African Union (AU) yesterday celebrated the second edition of the Africa Day of Decentralisation and Local Development. Adopted during the January 2012 Summit, the day aims not only at reminding all Africans living on the continent and in the Diaspora of the importance of decentralisation in the construction of Africa, but also of the important contribution of local governments in the development of African Union Member States and the territories therein.
According to a statement, the Day should afford state and non-state stakeholders the opportunity to focus special attention on the challenges engendered and the opportunities afforded by decentralisation and local governance. The second edition was celebrated under the theme: “Public and citizens participation in planning and dudgeting at the local Level “.
On this occasion, H.E Dr. Aisha Laraba Abdullahi, African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs has, in a statement called on all AU member states “to strengthen public and citizens’ participation and ownership in governance and development processes in the light of relevant values and principles enshrined in African Union governance legal instruments”.
In this same statement, she also recalled that “Building a culture of public and citizens’ participation and ownership in our Member States should become a shared responsibility of central and local governments”.
As far as local governments or local authorities are concerned, she highlighted that she believes “they will enhance their systems to promote participation of citizens of all segments of society, including diaspora, in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies, programmes and projects through structured community platforms and other forms of participation — African Union-HR.
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