At the beginning of the month, EThekwini Municipality officials and international delegates participated in a Train-the-Trainer Programme on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The event was hosted by United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), in partnership with the EThekwini Municipal Academy (EMA) and Municipal Institute for Learning.
The workshop aimed to further engage the members of the UCLG Committee on Urban Strategic Planning and to stimulate alignment of their local planning processes and strategies with the SDGs.
At the opening, UCLG Programme Manager, Ms Sara Hoeflich, emphasised that localizing means implementing local agendas in cities and territories to achieve local and global goals. “More than a technical process, localizing is a political process based on harnessing local opportunities, priorities and ideas,” said Hoeflich. During the workshop participants were introduced to the most relevant fields of the process of localization such as awareness raising, linking strategies with the national level, alignment of strategic plans at the local level, supervision and monitoring of the localization processes and communication of archived results.
In his presentation, Mr Puven Akkiah, EThekwini Municipality, Senior Manager outlined the City’s agenda in terms of Integrated Development Planning. “Vision helps create the argument to talk about sustainable development. For successful cities we need to have these important decisions and leadership plays a pertinent role,” said Akkiah.
Participants from Tanzania, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Indonesia, Argentina, Spain, Austria and Morocco attended the training, which included on site visits in Durban, showcasing eThekwini’s good practices in terms of development planning and management. With informative presentations, facilitated discussion and group work sessions the Train the Trainer Programme on SDGs provided strategic and practical knowledge to participants on how to effectively localise and domesticate SDGs. Officials who participated were also encouraged to embed the knowledge gained during the training into SDG related projects within the City.
At the closing ceremony, the Head of the EThekwini Municipal Academy, Dr Ngubana, shared his praise for the Programme: “The Train-the-Trainer Programme was really an eye opening and valuable experience for all of us. The fact that the delegates were coming from all over the globe also spiced the debates, content and enabled sharing of wider learnings and experiences. I would like to thank all the partners who made the programme possible. I also want to thank the trainers who were trained in the programme for having set aside three days of their busy schedule and also committing into being the ambassadors of the SDGs rollout in the whole of SADC abs Anglophone Africa”.