Organisation: Local Economic Development Network Africa (LEDNA)

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Description

What is LEDNA?

A friendly social network – a brand new way for Local Economic Development policy makers and practitioners to work together and learn from each other. This hub gives you access to free and impartial LED knowledge, resources and contacts of the highest quality from the North and South, rural and urban areas. These resources are specifically selected by and for LED practitioners, programme and project designers.

What does LEDNA offer?

  • Up-to-date information for LED beginners, intermediate and advanced users.
  • LED resources from all over the web.
  • Regular inputs from community members.
  • Opportunities to develop virtual and face-to-face communities of practice.
  • LED Member profiles.
  • Information on job opportunites and events.
  • What is our mission?

Our mission is to promote the exchange of LED knowledge by:

  • Creating a one-stop-shop with state-of-the art impartial LED knowledge.
  • Linking local economic development knowledge users and practitioners.
  • Establishing an innovative ideas and knowledge exchange – online and face-to-face.
  • Providing information in the public domain and services free of charge.

Activities of LEDNA

LEDNA has been furthering the Local Economic Development Agenda in Africa through activities clustered in 4 key components:

  • 1. A freely-accessible online knowledge centre and social network platform: (www.ledna.org). LEDNA provides more than 3,200 peer-checked resources on LED (theories, conception/ implementation tools and good practices) relevant to Africa. As a social network, LEDNA has already attracted more than 600 LED decision-makers (mayors, municipal managers, public servants etc.) and practitioners.
  • 2. A support facility for associations of local governments in the elaboration and implementation of national LED programmes. LEDNA facilitated a 5-year national LED programme in Mali involving 16 municipalities piloted by the Association des Municipalités du Mali. Similar projects are scheduled to start this year in Benin, Botswana, Togo and Zambia.
  • 3. A capacity-building mechanism for local governments, principally targeting elected local officials and local cadres. This has been done via online networking tools as well as via direct on-ground activities such as conferences and workshops. In 2009, LEDNA organised a total of 5 workshops; one in Pretoria for the local government associations of Botswana and Zambia (BALA & LGAZ) and four at the Africities Summit in December 2009 benefitting more than 500 local government officials.
  • 4. A platform for putting in contact the offer and the demand for funding of private LED projects (planned to go operational this year).

Organisation of LEDNA

As an autonomous programme of the United Cities and Local Government of Africa (UCLGA), LEDNA is piloted by a Steering Committee representing African local governments and composed of five Mayors representing each one of the five African regions. The incumbent President of the Steering Committee is Mr. Fathallah Oualalou, Mayor of Rabat, Morocco. LEDNA is managed by a LEDNA Coordinator supported by a Network Facilitator, an LED expert, a Knowledge Management expert and the LEDNA Support Unit. LEDNA’s intervention in countries is premised on the use of local expertise.

LEDNA receives core funding from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and has received punctual funding from the UCLGA, UNDCF, ILO, GTZ and USAID.

LEDNA & South Africa

Given LED prominence in South Africa in a continent where LED is still largely nascent, LEDNA look forward to a strategic partnership with South African LED institutions and actors to foster cross-country fertilisation. Some salient facts:

  • LEDNA headquartered in Pretoria.
  • LEDNA regular participant at SALGA LED Round Tables.
  • Partnership agreement with South African LED Network based on knowledge sharing, technical expertise exchange and joint events organisation.
  • 14 % of LEDNA members from South Africa.
  • 12 % visits (users) of the LEDNA platform from South Africa for 2009.

Expectations: South Africa held up as the continental reference on LED hence local government officials and practitioners from across Africa look to South African for a stream of LED inspirational good practices and success stories and direct interaction with South African LED actors. LEDNA is committed to presenting these on the pan-African platform and building synergies.