Local Government capacity in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region
Adequate country capacity is a key consideration in global efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Organization for Economic Co – operation and Development (OECD) has pointed out that even if there were greater financial resources for capacity development in many developing countries, it is still likely to fail. Capacity development has also moved beyond the individual level in terms of knowledge and skills to a focus on the quality of leadership and management of the public institution and organization. However, irrespective of the governmental structure, it is a given that local governments globally play a critical role in local governance by promoting local development and ultimately the MDGs. However, the level of public governance in many countries is still too weak to make a significant impact in terms of accelerating the pace to reach the MDGs. This paper will critically review the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region with a particular emphasis on the local sphere of government. There are currently twelve countries in the SADC Region; however, this study will focus on a representative sample of countries, notably South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The countries chosen vary in size, physical attributes and political dynamics and more importantly in terms of levels of development. Adequate capacity is one of the critical missing factors in current interventions to attain the MDGs and other national development goals.