Three local governments in the Kampala metropolitan area are to benefit from a €100,000 (Shs 4.4 billion) project aimed at increasing revenue collections at the local government level.
The project themed; strengthening local governments’ role as a partner in development, is a Local Economic Development (LED) initiative to be piloted in Mukono and Mpigi districts as well as Makindye Ssaabagabo Municipality in Wakiso district.
According to ULGA secretary general, Gertrude Rose Gamwera, the project is intended to help local governments to work with the national LED policy to build their capacities and to help them understand the concepts around it and how to put it into practice.
“For a long time now we have looked for so many strategic ways of helping local government to work with this policy we concentrated a lot of political decentralisation and administrative and it’s now time to grow our economies and we need money to do it,” Gamwera said.
She further spoke of the project as an important entry point in localising the sustainable development goals (SDGs) as per the UN Agenda 2030.
“The local government is central to this process by virtue of its role as an enabling agency. In this capacity, the local government can be seen as a convenor and facilitator as well as having a role to play in regulating development and delivering infrastructure,” Gamwera said.
“Local governments have the capacity to increase on their revenue but they still have some gaps like human resource and funding because at the end of the day we have policies to implement from the government and Led is one such policy,” she added.
Speaking at the launch, the state minister for Local Government, Jennifer Namuyangu welcomed the project as one of the avenues through which local governments can provide better services to the citizens hence raising revenue.
She said, with the re-centralisation of the local governments’ powers, the districts were left to solely depend on central government transfers because many of them cannot raise 10 percent in local revenue.
“From these meager collections, their councils must be paid and as well provide other services to the community members, which becomes hard,” Namuyangu said.
If the pilot project succeeds, the project will then be rolled out to other local governments next year.