Local governance support project AGIR officially launched in DRC
On September 19-21 participants from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Sweden gathered in Lubumbashi, the provincial capital of Haut Katanga for the official launch of the Sida-financed project, Support to inclusive and accountable governance in the DRC (AGIR).
AGIR was initiated by SALAR International in August 2022. Following a one-year start-up phase which established core relations and partnerships, the project was officially launched during a three-day event in Lubumbashi, which gathered participants from national institutions, provincial ministries and agencies, representatives from partner municipalities (decentralized territorial entities – ETDs) as well as from the Swedish embassy and the international community.
SALAR International together with its implementation partner consortium CENAPAD-DEDQ* signed co-operation agreements with the Provincial Decentralisation Division and six partner ETDs. ETD representatives present attested to the relevance of the project, and expressed their commitment to making use of the project to develop their communities. André KAPAMPA KAMWANYA, the Mayor of the city of Kasumbalesa, captured the sentiment in his closing remarks on behalf of the partners:
– We commit ourselves beyond what we have formally and materially signed. We welcome you [AGIR] to our entities. When we commit ourselves in this way, we'll be able to develop our communities, because it's all about grassroots development.
The AGIR project
The AGIR project is supporting the decentralization process in DRC by working directly with six ETDs in the province, to increase access to and quality of public services provided on local level, e.g. by enhancing inclusive participation in decision-making processes. The project combines strengthening organisational and governance capacities with building the ETD capacity as service providers, where the needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups are continuously taken into consideration.
The pilot examples from the ETDs are to be fed into a provincial and national dialogue on practical means to strengthen the decentralisation process and hopefully provide inspirational examples to other ETDs in the province and elsewhere.
*CENAPAD : Centre National d'Appui à la Participation Citoyenne et au Développement Durable, et DEDQ : Détectives Experts pour les Droits au Quotidien.