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  • Writer's pictureJohnson C Onuoha

Strengthening and Transforming Local Economic Development for an Inclusive and Sustainable Economic

Local economic development is a process that encourages partners from the community, public sector, private sector, and non-governmental sectors to collaborate to improve the conditions for economic growth and employment creation to enhance the locality's financial future and the quality of life for all citizens. Building up a local area's economic capability is the goal of local economic development (LED), which aims to improve everyone's quality of life. It is a process in which public, private, and nonprofit partners collaborate to improve the environment for economic expansion and employment opportunities. In today’s world, a community's success rests on its capacity to adjust to the fast-paced local, national, and global economic system. Communities increasingly utilize strategically designed local economic development frameworks to boost their ability for local economic growth, enhance the environment for investment, and raise the output and efficiency of domestic businesses, entrepreneurs, and employees.

Localization is critical to the "leave no one behind" principle, upon which the New Urban Agenda and Agenda 2030 are based. On the other hand, Local Economic Development (LED) presents local communities, local government, and the private and not-for-profit sectors with the opportunity to collaborate to strengthen the local economy. It hinges on the realization that concealed underneath the averages are groups of individuals, mainly the poorest and most disadvantaged, who have not been adequately reached by development initiatives. Hence, the primary goals of local economic development are to increase competitiveness, promote sustainable growth, and ensure inclusive growth, and to be effective. We must determine the community's financial strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats and agree on a shared approach. Districts must also be able to comprehend LED processes and act strategically in the evolving and more cut-throat economic system if they want to raise living standards, create new economic opportunities, and combat poverty.

Towards a Sustainable and Inclusive Recovery

Local economic development links underprivileged populations to value chains and opportunities and makes investments that boost fundamental infrastructures while also encouraging the local business environment by concentrating on the advantages of a specific region or locality. It takes vital approaches that put communities at the center of the process, especially for the marginalized and vulnerable populations, and engagements key stakeholders, including governments and the general public, businesses, financial institutions, and non-governmental sector working cooperatively to improve conditions and an enabling ecosystem for income generation and job creation which provides pathways or sustainable and inclusive economic recovery.

Local economic development focuses on providing inclusivity, connectedness, and economic growth while promoting sustainability and resilience. We can guarantee longer-term local economic recovery by concentrating on investing in local economic development ecosystems. Such strategies involve making investments to raise the standard of the local investment environment, connecting local institutions to value chains, investing in proper infrastructure, supporting financial institutions, and creating public-private partnerships. However, enhancing the availability and access to digital technologies can significantly improve the business ecosystem and livelihoods, as well as access to leadership development, health care, and education. Digital technology, for instance, can speed up economic growth by expanding access to financial services or connecting consumers with private investors through digital services.


The UN Secretary-General has emphasized the role of sub-national governments in achieving the SDGs. "Much of the investments to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) will occur at the sub-national level and be driven by local authorities." The successful implementation of Agenda 2030 and the SDGs depends on local ownership and participation of diverse stakeholders at the local level because 65% of the indicators are relevant to local authorities. The public (governmental), private (business), and non-governmental (NGOs, trade unions, social, civic, and religious) sectors must work together for local economic growth to be successful. Identification of the people, public institutions, enterprises, industries, civil society organizations, professional organizations, think tanks, training institutions, and other entities that make up or have an impact on the local economy is the first step in the strategic planning process: a pathway for transforming local economies and communities for resilient and sustainable economic recovery.


  1. Mandisvika, Gladys. (2015). The Role and Importance of Local Economic Development in Urban Development: A Case of Harare. Journal of Advocacy, Research, and Education. 4. 198-209.

  2. New Urban Agenda | UN-Habitat (


  4. Goga, Soraya; Murphy, Ian Fergus; Swinburn, Gwen.: Local economic development: a primer developing and implementing local economic development strategies and action plans (English). Washington, D.C.: World Bank


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