The Role of Partnerships and Participation in Local Economic Development in Africa

Client: United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Bureau for Economic Growth, Agriculture & Trade
Faculty: Paul Smoke and John Gershman
Team: Alysha Beyer, Claire Peterson, Anita Sharma
Year: 2003

As urban populations in developing countries continue to grow, cities are becoming an increasingly critical component to economic stabilization as well as to overall national development. Recognizing such urban migration patterns and the underlying importance of economic growth, local governments must design comprehensive, but flexible strategies that include public-private partnerships and civil society participation. Economic development strategies must be a process to create linkages between stakeholders and a plan for economic productivity and diversification using local resources. The Capstone team assessed approaches to local economic development in two cities: Livingstone, Zambia and Kigali, Rwanda. The team critiqued existing development models and proposed an economic development framework that helps to build and measure partnerships and participation. The team also produced a reporting template to assist USAID in reviewing future economic development strategies.