Kouga Municipality strengthens Canadian partnership

2018-09-13 06:00

A delegation from the Canadian municipality Prince Edward County arrived in Kouga on Monday for a two-week mission as a follow-up to the partnership agreement signed by the two municipalities earlier this year.

The municipalities are working together on a Building Inclusive Green Municipalities (BIGM) programme, an initiative facilitated by the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and is funded by the government of Canada.

Kouga is one of six South African and Eastern Cape municipalities, working with Canadian counterparts on different developmental areas.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in March between Kouga and the County in Jeffreys Bay, committing the two on cooperation on matters of Local Economic Development (LED).

The partnership was further confirmed by the visit of officials from Global Affairs Canada in June, who came to check first-hand which development projects Kouga was involved in.

Welcoming the delegation, Executive Mayor Horatio Hendrick said Kouga had already learnt a lot from the previous missions and hoped to make the most of the opportunity to build the municipality’s capacity to support community development programmes.

“Activities will be geared towards supporting the municipality to enhance its service delivery to entrepreneurs and to ensure that it favours new and innovative LED approaches, catering especially to women and vulnerable groups,” he said.

There will also be a three-day LED workshop for stakeholders, facilitated by Prince Edward County, from Wednesday to Friday this week.

“The workshop will highlight ways in which project management is approached, with some insights on knowledge management, LED strategies, tourism assets inventory management and community consultation strategies.

“We want to make the most of this opportunity of learning from some of the best practices internationally, with our own context in mind,” said Hendricks.

The Mayor added that this was a legacy project for the municipality as it was driven by his predecessor, the late Elza van Lingen.

The teams visited a number of key sites with the potential to stimulate economic development and investment.

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