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Title: Democratic decentralization and local development in Mozambique : lessons from Vilankulo municipality
Author: Kulipossa, Fidelx Pius.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3602 8409
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2003
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In a substantial shift in its position on the role of local governments in development, the central government in Mozambique devolved, in 1998, functions and responsibilities to 33 local governments. Local governments were empowered to tax, plan, budget, and acquire and administer resources. By devolving these functions and responsibilities, the central government aims to enable them to organise the participation of local communities in the solution of their problems, promote local development, and deepen and consolidate democracy at local levels. Local governments now have to provide equitable services and goods through local accountability and better use of local resources and knowledge. This study begins with an examination of concepts of power, around which debates over democratic decentralization, local development, legitimacy, accountability, local government, local governance, and central and local administrations revolve. The debate over concepts of power is grounded in a critical interdisciplinary framework. The study then examines the municipality of Vilankulo to determine the extent to which the local government is performing its functions and responsibilities under democratic decentralization and the effects of this change on local economic development (LED). The main contention of the study is that the municipal government in Vilankulo fares relatively well when weighed against most justifications for elected local government. It is building and articulating community identity, emphasising diversity, providing political education and training, promoting citizenship and participation, fostering innovation and learning, and responding swiftly and appropriately to some local problems, despite many difficulties it faces. In the promotion of LED, the municipal government plays the role of a mediator by co-ordinating, facilitating, and stimulating LED. Drawing on the experiences of other municipalities, the study argues that there is scope in Mozambique for the design of democratic local governments that shape locally-led governance and development. Particularly, the institutional innovations that are taking place in Vilankulo are making the local government more legitimate, accountable, responsive, and sensitive to problems of poverty, social welfare, local economic development, and equity in the municipality. Therefore, the municipality of Vilankulo can be seen as a local building block for the construction of a developmental democratic state in Mozambique.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available