Since 2009, NIMD has been implementing the iLEDA Schools for Democracy programme in Mozambique. iLEDA (the initiative for leadership and democracy in Africa) is an initiative of the Forum of African former Heads of State and Government (Africa Forum), NIMD and the Institute for Democracy (IDASA), which seeks to strengthen Africa’s capacities for democratic leadership through targeted training programmes.
Through the iLEDA Schools for Democracy Training Programme citizens are provided with relevant knowledge on the functioning of democracy and issues related to representation, citizen’s rights and accountability. Furthermore they are provided with relevant skills (such as leadership skills and negotiation skills) to become an ‘agent of change’ in their community and they are assisted to enhance the communication and collaboration with local governance structures. By doing this, the iLEDA Schools for Democracy Programme aims to contribute to a democratic society in which people are able to fulfill their role as active citizens and where the government is able to respond to their needs.
The programme in Mozambique started with a pilot programme in Manica Province in 2009, and in 2010 the iLEDA Schools for Democracy were extended to Nampula Province, with funding from the Danish Embassy. Since the start of the programme over 200 Mozambican citizens have been trained, which has resulted in a number of successful initiatives by individual alumni to start projects in their own community and to interact with local government.
In order to further strengthen and support those initiatives, NIMD has been facilitating the establishment of Schools for Democracy alumni networks in Manica and Nampula province. Through the alumni networks, the graduates are encouraged and assisted to use their obtained skills and knowledge for the benefit of their community. Recently the Mozambican non-profit organisation MASC has joined forces with NIMD to strengthen the alumni network in Manica Province. With their support several meetings have been organised to further discuss the structure, set-up and workplan of the alumni network. In the coming months the focus will be on meetings with the local authorities regarding budget monitoring and issues related to local accountability, thereby reinforcing the dialogue between the alumni and the local government authorities.