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Title: The Socio-Economic Impact of Local Economic Development Agencies (LEDAs) in Mozambique: A Case Study of LEDAs in Manica and Sofala Provinces
Authors: Muguira Amade Mamudo, Amina
Keywords: Sofala
Issue Date: 15-Feb-2006
Series/Report no.: UCM/MA/05/009
Abstract: A few decades ago traditional top-down policies and the first challenges generated by globalisation failed to assure socio-economic and territorial equity. Over the last decades it contributed to a serious rethinking of development policies and related strategies that gradually have become more innovative and bottom-up, like Local Economic Development (LED) strategies. In Mozambique, the first efforts made for the promotion of LED approaches were initiated by ILO in 1998 trough establishments of Local Economic Development Agencies (LEDAs) in three provinces, namely Maputo, Sofala and Manica. This thesis covers a study about the socio-economic impact of LEDAs in Manica and Sofala Provinces. The study was based on a questionnaire guided survey involving subsequent interviews with the directors and other staffs of two LEDAs conducted over a period of 3 weeks. The collected data were stored, processed and analysed in Microsoft Excel ®. From the results the main conclusion drawn was that, although in slow pace, LEDAs have been contributing positively to socio-economic development of the two provinces in terms of improvement in employment generation, business opportunities, inclusiveness and participation, and livelihoods in general. However, there is a strong tendency of these LEDAs, in search of quick return on investments, to be somehow in an identity crisis navigating between not-for-profit business development service (BDS) providers and the provision of services on a commercial basis putting the social and equity objectives at risk. This is evidenced by a tendency of concentration of efforts in provincial capital cities and not in the less favourable smaller towns and rural areas. The main recommendation derived from this study is that LEDAs should exist to fulfil their not-for-profit socio-economic mandate, which requires the provision of adequate financial support from the government or donors in promoting LED initiatives.
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