VII-6. Strengthening Local Government

Convener: Michael Earl Bell (George Washington University, McHenry, USA); e-mail:

Too often, governments, including those in Africa, fail to deliver adequate services to poor people in terms of access, quantity and quality. Thus, citizens across Africa are demanding greater self-determination and control of government institutions. In many cases this has resulted in shifting service delivery and finance responsibilities to local governments which are closer to the people. In fact, the first law that then President de Clerk in South Africa and Nelson Mandela agreed to the Local Transition Act of 1993. Both understood the critical role local governments play in the daily lives of all citizens.