Economic Development Agency goes live
On Monday, the new website (http://ledapathfinders.org/) of the Local Economic Development Agency (LEDA) went live and is now available to the Namibian public and the world. LEDA is a division in the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, which supports Regional Councils and Local Authorities through capacity building, strategy development and implementation, funding and networking. Its website will be instrumental in assisting local government in stimulating Local Economic Development through the dissemination of relevant information. The launch of the LEDA website represents an important step in the evolution of the agency, which was established in 2011 following the publication of the 2009 Government White Paper on Local and Regional Economic Development.
It sets out what LEDA does, its history, vision, mission, values and above all, its different service areas. For example, LEDA builds the capacity of Local Economic Development (LED) practitioners and development planners through demand driven training workshops, for which details are provided on the website. The typical process involved in developing an LED strategy is outlined and examples of current LED projects which LEDA supports are shown via an interactive map. In addition, visitors of the LEDA website will find detailed information about each conference that the agency has hosted to date, including a summary of their objectives and a selection of pictures. Under the LED publications section relevant studies and economic surveys, the most recent Namibian Business and Investment Climate Surveys, and different editions of the SME Gazette are available for downloading. Other useful additions to the website include the section on LED toolkits, which LED practitioners can apply in their daily work, and a list of partner organisations with links to their own websites. “It is important to note that the LEDA website has not been developed by professional web designers, but by the LEDA team itself” stated LEDA . It will be updated regularly and evolve over time. The Regional Councils and Local Authorities were already given the chance to provide the agency with feedback on the website and it met with the approval of the Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development when it was first introduced at the LED Pathfinders Studies Launch in November 2013. “Now it is up to the public at large to make use of the LEDA website in order to further regional and local economic development of across the country.” LEDA concluded.