Hirshabelle, Somalia 8 October 2020- Twenty-nine councillors from Warsheikh district successfully completed the Local Leadership Management (LLM) training in Warsheikh, Hirshabelle State of Somalia. The training was supported by UN-Habitat through the Joint Programme on Local Governance (JPLG) in partnership with Hirshabelle Ministry of Interior & Local Government and Federal government of Somalia’s Ministry of Interior, Federal Affairs and Reconciliation (MoIFAR).

The training was facilitated by members of Hirshabelle Ministry of Interior & Local Government who had previously been trained by UN-Habitat. Abdihakim Osman, the UN-Habitat JPLG Project Officer said that this model was adopted as it is an effective and sustainable way of ensuring that public institutions are empowered to respond to the emerging needs of their fellow citizens. “It is our hope that the councillors, being at the local level will be keen to apply the knowledge and experience gained from this training in order to advance the development of their communities.” he said.

JPLG recognizes the importance of capacity building to equip local councillors with the tools to play a positive and decisive role in dispensing their duties in the council and ensure a sustainable future for all in Somalia within the country’s rapidly urbanizing environment.

The training covered the 12 globally endorsed roles of councillors dubbed “councillor’s hats”. The ‘power broker’ role which prescribes that institutional power should be used for public interest was what Qamar Dhiblawe, one of the women in Warsheikh council noted as needful towards improving their council.  The training also offered the councillors an opportunity to investigate their weakness and brainstorm on best ways of enhancing service delivery in their respective councils while learning from their best practices.

This was the first training of its kind delivered to local leaders in Hirshabelle State selected into office by the community. Speaking at the launch of the training, Hirshabelle state president Mohamed Abdi Waare said, “It is my hope that Warsheikh being the first district in Hirshabelle to select the representatives of their choice will be a model council for our local governance system.” He commended UN-Habitat and the donors for empowering the local council.

Global goals recognize cities as the primary drivers of economic development due to their ability to facilitate agglomeration economies that induce sustained growth. In Somalia just like other countries, there is increasing emphasis on the need for local governments and policymakers to gain a deeper understanding of how they can improve urban service delivery.

The training adhered to COVID-19 protocols and incorporated local governments guide to COVID-19 to ensure safety precautions were observed to prevent spread of the virus.

JPLG is supported and fully funded by; the European Union(EU), the UK’s Department for International Development (UK-DFID), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), Norway,  the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) , the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).