Garowe 2 September 2022- Ahmed Mussa Said, the mayor of Garowe is actively turning The Association of Local Government Authorities of Puntland (ALGAPL) into an effective local government entity that can perform mandated tasks inspired by the UN-Habitat organised Somali Mayor’s Forum he attended in Rwanda early this year.
The mayor, who was one of the participants of the forum, was inspired by experiencing firsthand the role Rwanda Association of Local Government Authorities (RALGA) has been playing in devolving basic services, capacity building for sub-national structures and delivering basic social services to the lowest level possible.
Upon return and on realising the importance of local government associations, the potential role they play in representing local government, improving local governance in general and enhancing delivery of basic services, Mussa who is also the chairman of ALGAPL has been rallying fellow mayors in Puntland to promote operationalization of ALGAPL.
ALGAPL was founded in 2014, to unite voices of all local government authorities of Puntland, advocate and formulate municipal-friendly policies. A fully furnished office space had been set up for the association’s secretariat as well as organizational development package that included a constitution, a 5-year Strategic Plan, Code of Ethics and Standing Order Procedures. However, its smooth operations were hampered by recurrent leadership changes in member districts, dishonouring subscription fees among other reasons.
“As much as we appreciate support from our development partners and appeal its continuation, as member districts, we want to reiterate our serious desire to make ALGAPL a locally-funded and sustainable entity that promotes good governance in Puntland” said Mussa.
As a result, USD 52,000 has been raised to cover local government association’s recurrent cost, an Executive Director hired to lead the secretariat, a sustainable resource mobilization strategy devised and a realistic work plan adopted. In addition, member districts committed costs for office renovation, provision of basic equipment and office utilities.
The approved work plan contains outputs intended to strengthen institutional development. These include establishing an official website for the association, creating networks to foster unity and cooperation, hosting Somali Mayors forum in Garowe in the last quarter of 2022, establishing partnership with like-minded organizations, such as RALGA, Union of Municipalities of Turkey (UTM) to facilitate peer learning and exchange of best practices, and in collaboration with Puntland Local Government Institute, coordinate delivery of all trainings in Puntland.
Abdirahman Mohamoud, managing UN-Habitat’s local governance program praised the work of the Garowe mayor, particularly in his efforts to institutionalise the local government association. “Local government associations always represent the best interest of sub-national structures, has a strong and credible voice with national government and sets the agenda for local governance and are able to deliver local solutions to national issues” he said.