A new impulse to Local Economic Development

Photo credits@UCLGAfrica 

The 4th World Forum of Local Economic Development was hosted by the government of Cabo Verde and the City of Praia and counted on 2800 participants from 83 countries. It was an opportunity for our members to reflect on how the LED approach provides a framework for the SDG localization and positioned LED as a means to achieve territorial equality, equity and cohesion in a context of a vulnerable, isolated and dependant country.

In particular, we would like to highlight:

  • The way forward expressed by Cabo Verde on future decentralisation strategy, as per Prime Minister Ulisses’s commitment. 
  • The outcomes of the discussion related to small islands developing states and territories shaking the forum, illustrating the inter-relation between four main challenges: connectivity, governance, basic infrastructure, sustainable tourism. The UCLG debate on urban islands influence might deserve more attention.   

UCLG, as co-organising institution of the Forum, enlarged the role of members, networks and associations, and mobilised a delegation of 150 local elected officials, practitioners and city-networks representatives. As global organisation of local and regional governments, UCLG will strengthen its commitment for the next editions, reinforcing the urban policy topics at stake on local economic development: markets, urban planning, intermediary cities and decent local jobs.

"The World Forum remain a key platform not only to exchange on our experiences but also to promote a new international narrative leading to development of concrete political and policy frameworks for building a locally rooted, inclusive and sustainable economic growth.” Parks Tau, UCLG President

Don't miss declarations of President of UCLG, Parks Tau, on 4th Forum of Local Economic Development by FAMSI

The UCLG delegation at the 4th edition of the Forum provided political, policy and practical inputs that facilitated support to local actors of Cabo Verde. This edition demonstrated that localisation and implementation of the SDGs is not reachable without exchanges between the full range of local actors.

[ReadHighlights of the UCLG participation at 4th World Forum on Local Economic Development]

While highlighting the achievements of the Forum, we emphasize some of the way forward:  

  • Local inspires national: As mentioned by UCLG President Parks Tau, in order for Local Economic Development to reach out, it is indispensable to address national governments. The integrated approach of local government policies, evidenced by UCLG President, can and should inspire national and global agendas. The global agenda is a conceptual framework that requires institutional review in order to start implementing.
  • Local economic development is about human, social and inclusive development: Local governments display a range of policies and non-financial instruments such as procurement, licensing, land management, as well new as models of sustainable consumption, production and cooperation. The agenda of sustainable development is an opportunity to review the concepts and debate upcoming challenges, such as sharing, collaborative and circular economies. 
  • New economies, new jobs: a new world for local decent employment: The 4th edition of the Forum brought a renewed understanding of the macro and microeconomic situation that puts us before a new world of work. National and global policies such as labor protection or tax policies have immediate impact in the territories, and often deepen the division between rich and poor, hub and periphery. To turn and mitigate this impact, local government need support, financially, legally and be connected to all levels, especially at political level.  The role of networks, associations and development partners is to support local governments’ capacity. SDG 17, related to the global partnership for development, must be revitalized. For local government to be included, it is time to change from being implementer to partner.

UCLG sees the World Forum on Local Economic Development as a multistakeholder process that translates into practical work the positioning the concepts of LED and review the role of local government through learning and discussion and projects.  The UCLG Committee on LED is becoming an active community keen to maximize the outcomes of the next forum.

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