By Francis Tsawayo WINDHOEK The mayor of Windhoek Matheus Shikongo and the mayor of the City of Kadoma in Zimbabwe Alderman Phiri signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) last week. It is hoped the MoU will live up to the expectations of the overall objectives of the African Union. The newly signed MoU is in line with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) objectives. The visit by the Zimbabwe delegation is part of the Windhoek Kadoma Peer Review Pilot Project, which is sponsored by the Commonwealth Local Government Forum. Addressing the meeting, Shikongo said the visit was also in line with the principles of the SADC protocol. “Back in1995, SADC ministers responsible for local government emphasised the need for cities in the region to establish cooperation and partnership relations to share knowledge and experience for mutual benefit. I’m inclined to believe that what has inspired such motives is the recognition that in today’s global world, nations, cities, towns and villages can hardly afford to exist, operate and service in isolation. Thus today’s world has indeed become a global village,” he noted. “As a region this is within the spirit of the SADC Protocol,” he added. Shikongo informed the meeting that the Zimbabwean delegation led by Phiri had finalised the Peer Review on the City of Windhoek and had presented the preliminary findings to councillors and management, earlier that day. The main objective of the review is to identify the principle strengths and weaknesses of good governance and democracy within the framework of the identified pivotal areas such as participation, effectiveness, efficiency equity, transparency, accountability and civic responsibility as well as to identify ways to further consolidate strengths and to mitigate weaknesses, Shikongo outlined. “It is only through the forging of these strategic links that we can confront the challenges of local government and thereby contribute towards the attainment of the broad objectives as set out in the AU and NEPAD agenda,” he stated. “The challenges we are facing in our respective local authorities in the new political and democratic dispensation demands from us a concerted effort, determination, unity and a strategic approach to overcome a common challenging legacy,” said Shikongo. Those who witnessed the ceremony included the CEO of the City of Windhoek Niilo Taapopi, the delegation from Zimbabwe, councillors, strategic executives of the City of Windhoek and several of its residents as well.
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