Building Capacity for LED

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.

Programme Aims:

  • To promote LED research and learning
  • To build critical thinking in relation to LED
  • Continuing professional development
  • The creation of a professional network of LED graduates
  • To strengthen the implementation practice of LED institutions