Country Benin
Region Africa
Duration Start 1 January, 2012 till 31 December, 2016
Field of expertise Improving Access to Basic Services
Policy field(s) Local economic development
Inter-municipal co-operation
Institutional development
Public policy and planning
Funding Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands
Project code LG.01.BJ
Objective: Local Economic Development on the basis of agriculture and food security
Target group: 21 local governments in 3 districts, local government association ANCB and 3 regional associations
Intended result: Local governments will be able to promote agricultural entrepreneurship
Activities: Benchmark project, workshops, training and on-the-job coaching

The government of the West African country of Benin wants to strengthen the agricultural sector in the country. This as a large part of the agricultural potential is not utilised. At the same time, a substantial part of the farmers live in poverty. The Netherlands supports Benin in the implementation of the new agriculture strategy, in which local governments play an important role. Local governments are expected to support the agricultural sector in their municipalities, regulate ownership rights of agricultural land and provide a good infrastructure so that the farmers can get their products to the market. Many local governments are currently not able to do so.

Agricultural entrepreneurship
In Benin the LGCP focuses on enhancing local government capacity. In the future, elected representatives and the local council staff must be better able to stimulate and facilitate agricultural entrepreneurship in their local government areas. Six local governments are offered intensive support. Neighbouring local governments are being involved as much as possible. ANCB, the Benin sister organisation of VNG, receives support to improve its professionalism which is necessary to better represent the interests of local governments.

The programme intends to increase the capacity of local governments to stimulate economic development. The emphasis is on the agricultural sector. Local governments can do a lot to promote (agricultural) activity in their region. Important supporting activities are, for example, the organisation and the management of markets, the promotion of regional production, taxation and land registration, and infrastructure such as access roads, slaughterhouses and storage warehouses.

What do we want to achieve?
- 21 local governments have the capacity to develop good plans for Local Economic Development
- 6 local governments are able to execute such plans
- 6 local governments and their national association ANCB can adjust their plans and policies to changing circumstances or on the basis of experience which has been gained
- 21 local governments are able to involve all stakeholders in Local Economic Development
- The ANCB has the capacity to promote the quality and cohesion of municipal plans for Local Economic Development