Cities today play a major role in fostering and maintaining economic growth and in the creation of wealth. In most countries, cities account for the greatest share of gross national product (GNP), with a global average of 60%. Moreover, with regard to decentralization, the scope of local jurisdiction is being extended to a number of economic, social and environmental issues which were previously dealt with by national governments. The growing importance of cities and local governments calls for assistance for the formulation of sustainable and efficient local economic development strategies which promote growth and reduce poverty while protecting the environment.
The work undertaken by the Local Development Programme aims to empower local governments by providing them with the necessary skills and knowledge required for the formulation of;
- Effective local economic development strategies to foster entrepreneurship and business development and,
- Employment generation strategies, especially for vulnerable social groups.
It also aims to promote dialogue between local authorities, the private sector and civil society in order to define a shared vision of economic development for their city. Our CIFAL Centres operate as a platform for knowledge dissemination and information exchange among the aforementioned beneficiaries, thereby facilitating participatory processes by which local stakeholders can define this shared vision.
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