Government actors, in general, and local government authorities in particular, are the key bodies most often mandated by law to promote LED.
Local governments are usually given a general mandate to undertake economic development, which includes developing local strategies, coordinating with local private sector and civil society actors, enhancing the local environment for business and attracting investment.
National governments have a crucial role in setting national policies and strategies on economic development and LED, and in supporting and building the capacity of local governments to fulfil their LED promotion mandates.
While LED is a new area of focus for most African governments, it is quickly gaining ground as lessons are learnt regarding what government can successfully do from countries such as South Africa, which has been implementing the approach for several years.
Nonetheless, local governments in Africa still face considerable constraints in their ability to actively promote LED ranging from the restrictive assignment of functions to them, lack of financial and human resources or lack of capacity and knowledge on which interventions tend to work and which do not.