PICTON – A delegation from the local Koga municipality in South Africa will work alongside district employees in the community development department this month as part of the municipality's ongoing participation in the Green Building Urban Program (BIGM).
On Monday morning, a district welcomed the representatives of the South African municipality of Koga at a short reception in the council chambers of the Hall of Shire in Picton.
Participated in the task of the local Koga municipality (KLM) are Hattingh Bornman, Council Chairman, Fezeka Mabusela, Director of Planning, Development and Tourism, and Vusumzi Yake and Xolile Wagosa, both local economic development officers for Kouga.
"It is a great privilege for us to be in the district, and we are happy to work with our colleagues," said Bornman. "We are determined to grow our local economy and we look forward to learning from Prince Edward County and see the achievements they have achieved so far."
For more than a year, Koga province has cooperated to develop solutions to common challenges such as local economic development and youth involvement. The BIGM program is made possible by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), in association with the South African Local Association (SALGA).
It is fully funded by Global Affairs Canada with contributions in kind from the municipalities and partnership.
"Despite being 15,000 kilometers apart, conquering different continents, the two communities are similar in some areas, which was used to improve partnership," said Mayor Steve Ferguson, who visited Kouga in March on behalf of the council and Mayor Robert Quayf. In the early planning activities at Koga, I am excited to have their representatives work for our team in the coming weeks as they develop their approaches based on our successful programs. "
The partnership kicked in October 2017 when representatives of Kouga, SALGA, and FCM visited the province. The partners have since held online meetings, e-mailed, and participated in two additional tasks. A provincial delegation carried out work in Koga in March and September 2018.
"While modern technology allows us to achieve a great deal from a distance, we are at the stage of the program when Kouga representatives need to participate in the delivery of our programs here in the province, developing first-hand knowledge and experience that they can then apply back to South Africa," explained Neil Carbone, For the county. "During the visit, they will assist with our annual business plan and annual expansion, support our target development activities and participate in various public meetings and mixed activities aimed at strengthening their capabilities in these areas."
"Participation in this program is a worthy effort," said Cao County James Hepburn. "At this stage of the partnership, Kouga representatives work alongside the county staff – helping us while they learn from our approaches and programs.This assistance is certainly valuable to our team and at the same time offers real life experience in project management, communication, problem solving and intercultural learning – things That traditional professional development activities do not replicate. "
Visit the FCM website (https://fcm.ca/home/programs/international/our-programs/building-inclusive- green-municipalities.htm) to learn more about the BIGM program.