LED Centre of Excellence

Job creation, income growth and building of economically vibrant localities have become a key local government responsibility in today’s world. The failure of traditional top-down, supply-side sectoral development approaches to effectively address these issues made it necessary to explore alternative development approaches. Local economic development (LED), a bottom-up approach to development, has emerged to address the issues of low economic growth and high unemployment. LED strategies seek to exploit the development potential of each area and to stimulate the adjustment of local economic systems to the changing economic environment. LED approaches are becoming increasingly popular across the developing world due to their flexibility and adaptability. However, the success of LED in delivering high economic growth and building economically vibrant localities depends largely on how the concept is understood and implemented. Localities, regions, and even states in Latin America and Asia have implemented LED strategies combining both the economic and social dimensions of LED. This has resulted in successful outcomes of building economically vibrant localities and improving the quality of life of the people. In contrast, LED experiences in Sub-Saharan Africa frequently tend to focus on the social dimension of LED to the detriment of its economic dimension. In Sub-Saharan Africa, LED has often identified with self-reliance, survival, and poverty alleviation, rather than participation in the global economy, competitiveness, and finding market niches.

Local governments have been in the forefronts of developing and implementing LED strategies in Africa. In Ghana for instance, local governments are enjoined by law to promote local economic development. However, an assessment of the implementation of the National LED Policy of 2013 revealed inter alia, that there was weak understanding of LED and its potential benefits for the districts and also lack of commitment on the part of local governments towards its implementation. In addition, difficulty of local governments to foster partnerships; little integration of the LED process into the local level planning process; inadequate financial resources; lack of coordination between local government institutions; and inadequate technical personnel were identified to be challenges of implementing LED. Overcoming these challenges implies that, local governments in Ghana, and Africa in general, require not just policy and personnel, but also development of the right attitudes and competences that can be obtained through capacity building and the right technical support.


About the Centre

The ILGS-LED Centre is established to provide local governments and other associated bodies with the requisite technical support for effective implementation of LED strategies. The Centre was birthed out of the need to promote LED as an effective approach to building economically vibrant localities that create jobs, ensure income growth and high quality of life for their people.  We aim to be a preferred service provider and partner by delivering outstanding services to local governments.


To be a hub for building competitive local economies in Africa.

Mission Statement

To deliver cutting edge technical support in the form of training, research, documentation, and advisory services to local governments in their quests to building strong local economies

Core Values

The Centre is guided in its operations by the following principles and standards:


Our Team

The Centre operates with a consortium of highly professional individuals who have passion for their work and are committed to building strong local economies.


Prof. Nicholas Awortwi (Director, ILGS)

Prof. Nicholas Awortwi is the Director of ILGS. He is a professional development planner and an expert in local governance with more than 22 years’ experience in research, teaching and advisory services on decentralization and local governance, public policy and development management, social protection and inclusive development. Prof Awortwi has been one of the leading authors of decentralization and local governance, public-private partnerships, and social protection issues in Africa. He has provided expert analysis and advice to international organizations working in Africa such as the UNDP, UNCDF, World Bank, Commonwealth Secretariat, and Netherlands Development Cooperation. He has more than 40 peer-review publications in internationally refereed journals and books.  His latest books “Non-State Social Protection in Africa. Governance below the State” and “Politics and Public Policy & Social Protection in Africa were published in 2018 by Routledge in London and New York. Prof Awortwi has also recently published a policy brief titled “Industrial Policy for Local Economic Transformation and Development in Ghana: Beyond Enabling Environment, Local Governments Have Business Doing Business”.


Mr. Kwasi Larnyoh (Head, ILGS-LED Centre)

Kwasi Larnyoh is a Development Economist and Social Development Specialist with expertise in Local Governance, Local Economic Development, Project Management, and Social Protection. He has over twenty years’ experience working in both public and private sectors. He currently works as a Lecturer and Trainer with the Institute of Local Government Studies where he teaches academic and professional development courses; and trains local government and other public sector employees and functionaries. He has led and also participated in the training of Metropolitan Municipal and District Chief Executives, Assembly Members, and other staff of Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies in decentralisation and local governance, local economic development, project management, social protection, local resource mobilisation, monitoring and evaluation, among others. Kwasi currently has four peer-reviewed publications in international journals.


Mr. Salia Abdul-Moomen (Deputy Dean of Studies and Research, ILGS)

Abdul-Moomen Salia has a background in Urban Management and Development with specialization in Urban Social Development and Local Democracy. He has considerable experience in governance and development issues. He is a trainer and facilitator in Local Governance and Local Economic Development and has been involved in numerous training programmes for clients in both the public and civil society sectors. Abdul-Moomen teaches on the academic programmes of the Institute and has also facilitated in numerous capacity building and training programmes for staff of MMDAs and other stakeholders in the local governance space.



Tel: (+233) (0) 302-508817 / (+233) (0) 599 01 73 00

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Website: www.ilgs.edu.gh