INTA signed in 2007 an agreement to assist the Beninese Authorities in the establishment of a Regional observatory of local governance and decentralization. To support the launching of the observatory, INTA, with the Ministry of Decentralization, Local Governance, Administration and Planning of Benin, held an international advisory panel in the North of the country at Natitingou. Capitalising on the presence of international practitioners, INTA, in the wake of the panel, organised a seminar to better disseminate the experience and to create a momentum of exchange of practices that would enrich the programmes of the future Regional observatory.
The International Advisory Panel gathered from 7 countries a team of urban development practitioners - local elected officials and technicians, public or private developers, to question what governance delivery vehicle is needed in the context of decentralization for integrated urban projects integrated. Over a a 4-day field-work, the team shared its individual and collective experience with partners and Benin assessing the relevance of other approaches and methods or tools for urban development. The team, including professionals from Benin and Mali, was a pluri cultural and cross sectoral group that did field work. The operational conclusions of the panel were presented to the Beninese authorities at the end of the mission.
Benin has been in a very active decentralization process for nearly 10 years.
A new decentralized level (municipalities) were created few years ago. In this context, the Ministry of Decentralization, Local Governance, Administration and Urban Development, an INTA member, established an observatory called OGoLD (Observatory for Local Governance and Decentralization) to enhance local authorities ability to manage and develop their own territory. INTA was invited to participate in this experience in organising an international panel on territorial and urban prospective. In Natitingou, where the panel was hosted, the focus was on “sustainable tourism as tool for local and regional development”, as an example to review the new governance process in Benin.
A Panel of 24 practitioners from France, Belgium, Portugal, Switzerland, Italy, Mali and local high executives went from Cotonou to Natitingou, a 100 000 inhabitants town in the north-west of the country. Benin government’s officials (Minister of Decentralisation, Ministry of Town Planning, Minister of Tourism) and Benin’s local authorities (Prefet) welcomed the panel with a very warm reception. The following days, the Panel interviewed institutional actors about tourism potential and territorial development, before the group prepared its final recommendations. On the last day, several presentations introduced a public debate on decentralization and territorial development with examples from Burkina Faso, France, Belgium, Mali, Benin, Morroco, Switzerland, etc.
More information on the french pages.