Municipal Institute Of LearningMILE - Municipal Institute Of Learning
eThekwini flag flying high at Africities Summit 2012!
​Durban and São Paulo in the spotlight at Africities
Despite the numerous logistical challenges related to having more than 3 500 delegates at Africa's single largest local government summit, this years Africities event hosted by the United Cities and Local Government Africa (UCLGA) in Dakar, Senegal has been heralded as a phenomenal success.  eThekwini officials from the Safer Cities Programme, Small Business Unit, Architecture Department, Finance Cluster and MILE who made presentations at the invitation of various international agencies, maximized the unique opportunity created by this platform to share the cutting edge work done in Durban with their peers from Africa and beyond; learn from other good practices in local government and create new African and international learning networks. The Cities Alliance graciously allowed space at its exhibition stand to showcase the work done by MILE.
Inputs at Executive Bureau Meeting
Speaking at the closed UCLG executive Bureau meeting Deputy City Manager Krish Kumar, who represented eThekwini Mayor, Cllr James Nxumalo as Co-Chair of the UCLG's international Urban Strategic Planning Committee (USPC) presented the great strides made by the Committee in advancing the strategic planning agenda in cities.  The critical importance of city peer learning and mentorship was highlighted and the paper based on the findings of the UCLG-Metropolis learning methodologies workshop held in Barcelona was circulated. In addition, arguing from an African perspective, the strong case was made to move beyond occasional workshops to a more sustained programme of municipal peer technical support, which ultimately results not just in the transformation of  living environments, but the adoption of policies that promote more sustainable practices. In this regard, the work done in Mozambique, Namibia and Malawi facilated by the Thekwini-grown MILE was acknowledged as a key partner to the UCLG.
Steering the direction of urban strategic planning internationally
At a special sitting of the UCLG's Urban Strategic Planning, Mobility and Connectivity Committees,  the proposal of Durban as Co-Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee was adopted and the suggestion to confirm a Brazilian city  (such as Porto Allegre) as Co-Chair was accepted. An informative presentation by Bilbao on smart cities was shared and the work plan for 2013 was presented, with the dual focus being on strategic planning in intermediary cities and planning for local economic development in African cities. It was agreed that a progress report be made at the UCLG Congress to be held in October 2013' in Rabat, Morocco.

Reflecting on city learning
The Cities Alliance / UCLGA / Metropolis event on peer learning in cities, chaired by Kubeshnee Govender Jones, strategic advisor to the UCLGA turned its spotlight on learning methodologies. Porto Allegre, São Paulo, Bilbao, eThekwini, and Mozambican cities shared their insights and lessons learned. Passionate young architects Andile Ncapai and Marcelo Rebelo from eThekwini and San Paulo respectively captivated participants attention as they reflected on their experiences in a pilot project in Welbedacht which is ditilling the best of São Paulo's human settlements interventions and planning to implement it in a more ingrated and participatory way.
At this session, Charles Patsika, Programme manager from UCLG Africa commended the learning and knowledge managment approach employed by MILE, and urged eThekwini to  upscale their interventions so that other cities in Africaare able to benefit from the lessons learned. Sara hoeflich, UCLG  Programme Manager urged African cities to recognise that peer learning is indeed lots of hard work, and must be driven by African cities themselves. Rather than be obsessed with the quantity of learning interventions, she noted that we should focus on the quality of our learning.
UCLG Local Finance and Development Session
eThekwini City Treasurer and the Head of eThekwini's Real Estate Department who whose attendance at Africities was sponsored by the World Bank, shared their insights around revenue management. Their leadership and experience was greatly appreciated by the UCLG Committee on Local Finance and Development. During this session, Krish Kumar advised on appropriate indicators for the analysis of municipal finances, making reference to the regulatory framework that compels municipalities to report to National Treasury on a range of indicators that the UCLG was recommending. He strongly supported the need for municipalities to obtain independent credit ratings ensuring that they able to access the borrowings markets, bringing confidence to investors and residents, and joining the ranks of world class cities.
Municipalities appreciated his emphasis on maximising revenue sources and collecting all revenue due to them. The need for political will, strong leadership and a zero tolerance to non- payment were critical success factors that were highlighted. Reference was made to the revenue management workshop conducted in Ghana in partnership with MILE, CEFEB, AFD and the World Bank. MILE committed to further capacity enhancement workshops in partnership with these agencies.
All presentations, resources and learning materials are to be loaded here shortly.

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