Ministry of Local Government says it is committed to stabilise political and social economic environment at council level so that programmes implemented by local government authorities (LGAs) are of expected standards.
Deputy Minister of Local Government Halima Daud said this on Thursday in Lilongwe during a Local Government Accountability and Performance (LGAP) Project’s virtual close out meeting.
She said the project, which her ministry coordinated its implementation since August 2016, has deepened decentralisation and promoted local economic development in the country.
Said Daud: “LGAP project has complemented efforts at building the capacities of the LGAs to be responsive to the needs of local masses and the general public at large. It helped with existence of vibrant, active and democratic councils which is important in safeguarding and strengthening the principles of democracy and good local governance.”
The deputy minister appealed to LGA to take the closure of the project as an opportunity to continue to shine.
“This is the time to show the world that local government authorities can transform the country,” said Daud.
She attributed inadequate funding and system of intergovernmental fiscal transfers, unqualified staff as well as inadequate personnel for key functions in councils as some of the challenges that derailed decentralisation process.
She commended United States Agency for International Development (USAid) and Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) for financial support throughout the project period.
In his remarks, USaid acting mission director Lit Tazewell said they started the project due to shared understanding that improving the lives of citizens through education, economic growth, health, and other social services cannot be achieved without empowering councils.
On his part, FCDO Malawi deputy development director Martin Dawson said the project has concluded at a good time when Malawi recently launched World Bank-funded Governance to Enable Service Delivery project which seeks to strengthen capacity of local authorities to effectively manage resources for service delivery.