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EU funds leadership training for local govts

By Vision Reporter

Added 23rd July 2008 03:00 AM

WRANGLES and in-fighting among district leaders will soon be a thing of the past following the intervention of the European Union and the Uganda Local Government Association (ULGA).

WRANGLES and in-fighting among district leaders will soon be a thing of the past following the intervention of the European Union and the Uganda Local Government Association (ULGA).

By Patrick Jaramogi

WRANGLES and in-fighting among district leaders will soon be a thing of the past following the intervention of the European Union and the Uganda Local Government Association (ULGA).

The commission has given the local government body 500,000 Euros (sh1.2b) to fund a capacity building and leadership skills training project. The aim of the training is to enhance efficiency in local governance and minimise clashes among district officials.

The project is to be implemented under the European Development Fund (EDF) support to the decentralisation programme.

The three-year project will see 3,000 district officials from 80 districts trained. “It is unfortunate that most local councillors do not have the required legislative skills. We must change this,” said the ULGA president and Ntungamo chairman, John Karazaarwe.

Speaking at the authority’s offices at Najjanankumbi recently, Karazaarwe said efforts to end district wrangles had started in earnest. This was during the launch of the ninth EDF support-to-decentralisation project.

The Rakai district chairman, Vincent Ssempijja, decried the lack of legislative skills among local councillors. “Some district councillors do not even have the basic academic requirement of O’ Level.

In addition, there are district speakers who behave as if they are district chairpersons and some chairpersons who assume the responsibilities of chief administrative officers. That is why we need to train them in efficient leadership skills.”

He said a total of 2,400 district councillors, 380 urban councillors, 80 district planners, 80 urban planners, 80 district personnel officers and 20 urban personnel officers would be trained.
The Hoima district speaker, Yunus Mugabe, said the training would enhance better debate during council sessions.

The EDF programme manager, Frits Raijmakers, urged ULGA to ensure that the money is put to proper use. “We are promoting capacity building and effective delivery of social services in all districts,” he said.

The director of local government and inspection, Tom Mate, emphasised the need for efficiency among local governments.

“Unite and work together because you have a common goal. Let’s harmonise our roles so that the public can stop labelling us corrupt. Why should the ministry of local government arbitrate in wrangles involving districts when ULGA is present?” he wondered.

He said ULGA’s mandate was to strengthen the capacity of local governments through improved governance and establishment of functional monitoring and evaluation systems for capacity building.

The European Union commissioner, Teri Lehtinen, said decentralisation was one of the core areas of support from the commission.

“We are supporting ULGA because we are advocating good governance and an effective decentralisation system in Uganda.”

EU funds leadership training for local govts

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