Local Economic Development (LED) has been practiced globally by the state and communities as a response to locality-specific development problems. LED can provide a flexible and an effective approach to enhance economic growth and reduce poverty.
In KwaZulu-Natal, and in South Africa more broadly, there is a need to build the capabilities of those involved in development and transformation to improve the success of LED interventions.
After a successful pilot programme funded by Gijima KZN, The Regional and Local Economic Development Initiative was launched early in 2012. The initiative is fully funded and supported by the KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs
(EDTEA) and has an academic home at the Graduate School of Business and Leadership
on the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Westville campus.
The initiative includes a coordinated and integrated programme of teaching, learning and applied research in LED. The main aim of the Programme is to overcome current gaps in capacity for LED in KwaZulu-Natal.