Happy New Year! Happy New Podcast: Capital LoCAST Season 2

Welcome back to the Local Government Finance is Development Finance blog. 2021 will be a big year for the movement to establish a sub-national pillar to the development financing system. This blog will pick up where we left off in 2020 to highlight the issues and tell the stories behind the movement to increase transformational financing for development through local governments and local economic development.

On the positive side, more people now get it; there is a greater understanding that financing the infrastructure, services and green transformation requires a substantial sub-national and local government component. Sustainable development cannot happen with the private sector finance and central government finance alone. Covid 19 and the hugely varied response to it has reinforced the argument that local spending and local decision making matters. This will be increasingly true during the recovery.

On the negative side, 2021 will be the year of local fiscal crunch. There will be a lot of pain as the reduced revenues of 2020 meet the increased expenditure requirements of this year. The challenges to local fiscal space will strongly impact development finance during this year’s budget cycle. Capital investment plans could be reviewed, operations and maintainance could be cut, jobs could be lost and services reduced. These factors would negatively effect the recovery from the pandemic.

Initiatives which drive local economic development and boost local fiscal space are likely to be prioritized. How are local leaders looking to respond? The second season of Capital Locast explores this issue in a series of interviews with local government leaders recorded towards the end of 2020. This is a complementary

Did you miss the first season of Capital Locast? – Landmark interviews with global thought leaders about how local government finance is development finance – is still available at this link.

This second series of Capital Locast is builds on the initiative to rebuild local fiscal space launched by UNCDF in partnership with the Overseas Development Institute in November of last year. This high level event, which included keynote addresses by Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Secretary of UN Habitat and Emilia Saiz, Secretary General of United Cities and Local Governments. This event is described in a previous blog entry.

The second series of Capital Locast also complements the special Capital Locast edition on Local Government Finance and Covid 19 online at this link. The special broadcast outlines the principles and theory behind local government finance as an instrument for local economic recovery. But how does this work in practice? The practitioners answer that question in Capital Locast series 2: Diverse, inspirational and courageous local leaders who are committed to driving local economic development and the Covid 19 recovery through local governments. Season 2 Episode 1 is available here and will shortly be available on most popular podcast platforms.

Capital LoCAST Season 2 – the role call

Mohammed Sefiani, Mayor of Chefchaouen , Morocco

Mohamed Sefiani is currently President of the Commune of Chefchaouen, Morocco. He also holds the following positions:

President of the African Network of Medinas.
President of the Mediterranean Network of Medinas
President of the Moroccan Association of Eco-Cities
President of the International Forum of Intermediate Cities.
Secretary General of the Andalusia-Morocco Federation
Member of the Board of the Global Convenant of Mayors


Located in north-west Morocco, some 50 km from the Mediterranean Sea, Chefchaouen has exceptional natural, cultural and architectural assets. Its inclusion on UNESCO’s world heritage list enabled the city to expand its tourism industry, which became is a key economic activity. In line with Morocco’s national legislative framework for renewable energies and energy efficiency, the Chefchaouen is also very active in its management of natural resources and in 2010, declared itself an ‘ecological city’.

In this Episode, Mohammed Sefiani is speaks about the impact of COVID-19 on the City which had to find creative ways to generate income like the promotion of local products. Chefchaouen’s vision is to achieve the status of sustainable and Ecological city by 2030. The city is working with the private sector and the national government to boost productive capacity and a more sustainable eco-tourism to lead its recovery

Season 2 Episode 1 is available here

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, Mayor of Freetown, Sierra-Leone

Yvonne Aki Sawyer is a finance professional with over 25 years of experience in strategic planning, risk management and project management in the public and private sectors. Yvonne is passionate about the development of Sierra Leone. She is a Chartered Accountant and holds an MSc in Politics of the World Economy (London School of Economics) and a BSc Hons in Economics (Fourah Bay College). She is married with two children.

Yvonne was elected Mayor of Freetown on 7th March 2018 with a commitment to transform the city and improve the lives of Freetonians.


Freetown is Sierra Leone’s capital city and the seat of government. It is the largest city in Sierra Leone and the engine of Sierra Leones economy, creating 30% of the country’s GDP despite housing only 15% of its population, and occupying less than 0.5% of the national land mass. With over one million residents, and a growth rate of 4.2% per annum, Freetown’s population is expected to double by 2028

Season 2 Episode 2 will be available soon

Osei Assibey Antwi, Mayor of Kumasi, Ghana

Mr. Osei Assibey Antwi, Mayor of the City of Kumasi, is a prominent entrepreneur, a professional Administrator with more than 20 years of senior management experience, an accomplished politician and an experienced international business leader with numerous business interests in various sectors of the Ghanaian economy

He was one of the leading figures in the Ashanti Region’s political leadership during the 2nd and 3rd term of the fourth republic under President John Agyekum Kuffuor. He served as Deputy Regional Minister of the Region.


Kumasi, population 2.5 million, is the capital of the Ashanti region, a formerly independent kingdom pre-dates the formation of Ghana by 100 years. The city has a rich cultural heritage that is particularly evident in smaller surrounding towns. Trade, textiles, farming and mining are leading industries in Kumasi. It is among the largest metropolitan areas in Ghana

Season 2 Episode 3 will be available soon

José Maria A. da Fonseca, Sao-Tome, Central Africa

Mr. José Maria Amado da Fonseca is Mayor of the District of Água Grande, whose capital São Tomé is also the national capital. He was State Secretary for Infrastructure and Environment of the 15th Government of São Tomé; Administrative and Financial Director of the EMAE –Water and Electricity Company; Administrative and Financial Manager of the Supermaritime company. Mr. José Maria Amado da Fonseca holds a master’s degree in financial management and corporate audit from the Polytechnic University of Madrid – CEPADE (Spain), and a degree in business and IT management from IUCAI.

Sao Tome-District of Água Grande

São Tomé is the capital and largest city of the Central African island country of São Tomé and Príncipe. Its name is Portuguese for “Saint Thomas“. Founded in the 15th century, is one of Africa’s oldest colonial cities.

Season 2 Episode 4 will be available soon

Francisco de La Torre, Mayor of Malaga, Spain

Member of Parliament for Malaga (UCD), between 1977 and 1982, and Senator for Malaga (PP), between 2011 and 2014. Francisco de la Torre was President of the Provincial Council of Malaga and Minister of Economy, Finance and Tourism of the first Pre-Autonomous Board of Andalusia.

In 2020, he was appointed to the advisory board of Unitar, the United Nations Agency for Training and Research. This body ensures that the quality standards adopted in accordance with UNITAR’s mandate and UN guidelines are respected and well integrated into all activities of both the agency and the CIFAL Global Network.

He holds a Degree in Sociology from the Pontifical University of Salamanca; Specialist in Regional Development from Rennes, France; and Doctorate in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Madrid.


Málaga is capital of the province in the region of Andalusia. The city is Located on the south of Spain and just over 100 km from Africa, its township occupies 395 km ² and is located in the center of a bay surrounded by mountains and crossed by two rivers, the Guadalhorce and the Guadalmedina that flow into the Mediterranean. With 565,000 inhabitants, Málaga is the sixth largest city in Spain, second in Andalusia and also the most densely populated urban area of 160 km from the Costa del Sol. Its catchment area covers 12 other municipalities totaling more than 850,000 inhabitants.

Series 2 Episode 5 will be available soon

Mauricio Vila, Governor of Yucatan , Mexico

Mauricio Vila Dosal is the governor-elect of Yucatan. He ran as the PAN-MC coalition candidate. He served as mayor of Mérida from 2015 to January 2018, when he stepped down to enter the gubernatorial race. He has a law degree from the Universidad Marista de Mérida, an MBA from the University of Phoenix and a master’s degree in political management and strategic governance from George Washington University.


The State of Yucatán It is located in the southeast of the Mexican Republic, in the northern part of the Yucatán peninsula. It is bordered to the north and west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the southeast by the state of Quintana Roo, and to the southwest by the state of Campeche. Most of its territory is a plain, made up mostly of limestone rock. Its territorial extension is 39,524 km 2 . It is made up of 106 municipalities, and its capital is Mérida.

Series 2 Episode 6 will be available soon

Charlemagne Yankoty, Porto-Novo, Benin

Before his election as Mayor of Porto Novo, In 2019, following the constitutional revision, he joined the party UNION PROGRESSISTE as a founding member. He is also a member of the campaign leadership of the 19th district in charge of external relations and spokesperson. He is notably the UP coordinator of the 5th district of Porto-Novo. Municipal Councillor of the city of Porto-Novo elected on the Union fait la Nation list, he was the rapporteur of the finance commission of the Porto-Novo town hall (third mandate).He holds a Master in Audit and Corporate Finance at IIM University and a DESS in Finance and Management Control at the University of Abomey Calavi.


Porto-Novo, city and capital of Benin. It lies on the Gulf of Guinea in western Africa.The city is the administrative capital of the government of Benin. Government buildings include the national archives and the library. Porto-Novo is connected by road and rail to the country’s main industrial centre at Cotonou and by road to LagosNigeria. It has been somewhat bypassed for commercial and industrial development since the building of a railway to the interior and the improvement of deepwater harbour facilities in Cotonou. Numerous African artisans and guilds are in the city. 

Series 2 Episode 7 will be available soon

Mayor Ashok Kumar Byanju Shrestha, Mayor of Dhulikhel Municipality and President of MUAN, Nepal

Full bio and Series 2 Episode 8 available soon

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