The Connective Cities platform initiated a Study Tour to Cologne and Berlin in Germany with urban practitioners from Zimbabwe and Zambia from 2nd - 6th December 2019. The participants included six representatives of the Urban Councils Associations of Zimbabwe (UCAZ) and the President and General Secretary of the Local Government Association of Zambia (LGAZ).
The Study Tour is part of the GIZ project "Strengthening the Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe to promote intercommunal knowledge transfer and capacity development" - and was a follow-up to the previous dialogue event "Improving public service delivery at local level - solutions for a participatory and accountable management" in Harare (Zimbabwe), during which local practitioners from Sub-Saharan Africa already exchanged experiences and developed concrete project ideas.
Founded in 1923, UCAZ is one of the oldest municipal associations in Southern Africa and now unites all 32 Zimbabwean cities under one umbrella. The Zimbabwean Association represents the interests of Zimbabwe's cities and acts as an advisor and mediator of knowledge on local self-government issues, playing an important role in strengthening the cities in their mandate to provide citizen-oriented and sustainable service provision. Therefore, the aim of the Study Tour was to strengthen the capacities of UCAZ to support their member cities regarding their mandate to provide municipal services, in particular regarding water and sanitation.
Participants had the opportunity to understand the structure and functioning of German (city) associations as well as their tasks for member municipalities. Through visits and discussions, the participants gained insights that supported their own role and responsibility as well as their motivation to become "change agents" in Zimbabwe.
These meetings took place with the Association of German Cities, the German Association for Water Management, Sewage & Waste, the German County Council and the Association of Municipal Enterprises. The Berlin agency ZebraLog made an informative contribution to planning mechanisms, communication and capacity development in connection with citizen participation.
In view of the increasing urbanization in Zimbabwe, the cities and thus the provision of services by the city administrations are under high public pressure, especially with regard to the improvement of municipal services. A municipal association such as the Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe can play an important role in promoting the efficiency of cities and representing their interests. Improving those functions was the aim of the activates implanted by the Connective Cities platform und will continue to be pursued by the GIZ project in Harare/ Zimbabwe in the future.
Connective Cities - Study Tour
Promoting Intercommunal Knowledge Transfer & Capacity Development
2nd – 6th December 2019 in Cologne / Berlin
Local Self-Government in Germany
Alice Balbo, Deutscher Städtetag (Association of German Cities)
Municipal Budgets - Municipal finances and transparency
Katharina Suhren, Deutscher Städtetag (Association of German Cities)
Water management & Waste Water
Anett Baum, Deutsche Vereinigung für Wasserwirtschaft, Abwasser & Abfall e.V. (German Association for Water Management, Waste Water and Refuse)
The German County Association - Promoter of rural areas
Miriam Elsaesser, Deutscher Landkreistag (German County Association)
Planning mechanisms, communication and capacity development related to citizen participation
Matthias Trénel, ZebraLog - Agentur für crossmediale Dialogprozesse (Agency for cross-media dialogue processes)
Management of public services in Germany - Legal bases for municipal supply and disposal
Jonas Wiggers, Association of Municipal Companies (Verband kommunaler Unternehmen e.V.)