From 16 to 28 January 2011, the LEDNA Coordinator was on a mission to Togo and Benin - two countries which alongside Botswana, Mali, Zambia constitute the LEDNA five countries of concentration for the period 2010-2014. The mission aimed at launching the implementation of the 2010-2011 work plan regarding field activities in these two countries.
Specifically, the mission’s objective was (1) to support the finalization of the evaluation of the local economy of Aneho, Togo’s second largest city and (2) to prepare the launch of the National LED programme in Benin.
In Togo, a review of the state of advancement of the study to evaluate the local economy, based on the ECOLOC methodology, was carried. This focused on four key points, namely the surveys, the finalization of the framework document, thematic reports, and the summary report of the study in the ECOLOC format. A calendar for completion of the study was adopted and would lead to the next phase which will be the participatory elaboration of the LED plan.
During this mission, the Minister to the President, in charge of Planning, Economic and Territorial Development, Mrs. Dede Akuéfa Ekué granted us an interview during which the need to include the LED programme in the thoughts and activities of the Ministry was agreed upon.
In Benin, discussions with the permanent secretariat and the President of the National Association of Municipalities of Benin (ANCB) were centred around the practical modalities for starting the LEDNA activities: selection of municipalities to be supported in the implementation LED processes, strengthening the institutional capacities of the permanent secretariat of the ANCB with LED expertise, key themes to be included in the national LED strategy, etc.
Meetings were held with several national stakeholders in Benin including the Director of Cabinet of the Minister of Decentralization, Local Governance and Territorial Development (MDGLAT), the Director General of Decentralization and Local Governance (DGDGL), the CONAFIL Permanent Secretary and the Director of Cabinet of the Minister for Planning and Development.
Meetings were equally held with the following international development cooperations: the Belgian Technical Cooperation (BTC), French Cooperation and the Swiss Development Cooperation.