15.07.2006 Social News

Calls for modernisation of the Chieftaincy institution

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Tamale, July 13, GNA - The African Peer Review Mechanism Country Report and Programme of Action has called for modernisation of the chieftaincy institution to make it more responsive to the needs, demands and challenges of society.

It said the backlog of chieftaincy cases pending at the courts and Regional Houses of Chiefs should also be addressed to bring sanity, progress and prosperity to the people and enhance socio-economic development of Africa.

The call was contained in the Report and Programme of Action dubbed: "Relevance of Report to Chieftaincy and Development Concerns of Northern Region".

Dr. Francis Appiah, Executive Secretary of the National African Peer Review Mechanism Governing Council (NAPRM-GC) presented the report at a day's dissemination workshop organised for the Northern Regional House of Chiefs in Tamale on Wednesday.

The Nayiri, Na Bohagu Abdulai Mahami Sheriga, King of Mamprugu Traditional Area and President of the House, Yagbon Wura Bawa Doshie, King of Gonjaland and Mion-Lana Abdulai Ziblim, Chief of Mion in the Yendi District, attended the workshop.

The NAPRM-GC organised the workshop with sponsorship from Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAF), a German NGO.

The report called for the active participation of chiefs in the decentralisation and local governance processes, as well as the promotion of social and cultural rights of their people. It said efforts should be made to provide legal counsellors to the Regional Houses of Chiefs to ensure prompt disposal of disputes.

The report urged Chiefs to show concern about issues of child labour, land and environmental degradation, while they released land for economic development and encourage good corporate governance and good business ethics.

It called for the chieftaincy institution to be involved in conflict prevention, resolution and management, while tasking them to ensure the codification of customary laws and rules of chieftaincy succession.

The report asked chiefs to promote regional cooperation and integration at borders with neighbouring countries and strive to overcome cultural impediments to gender equality.

Professor S.K.B. Asante, Member of the NAPRM-GC said all over Africa and beyond, Ghana was being commended for successfully undergoing the review and expressed appreciation to the traditional rulers for their active participation in the process, especially in the monitoring and evaluation.

Mr. Isaac Owusu-Mensah, Programme Officer of KAF, said KAF was among five German political foundations that had been promoting good governance across the World.

He said KAF assisted economic and social reforms of governments; strengthen the role of Parliament, promoted broad based participation of the citizenry in decision making through decentralisation programmes as well as the promotion of indigenous traditional institutions.

The Programme Officer said the NGO established partnership with the National House of Chiefs in 1994 to promote the rule of law, good governance and democracy in Ghana by integrating cherished cultural values into the decentralisation process.

Mr. Owusu-Mensah said the NGO would intensify its collaboration with traditional rulers with effect from next year to harness their contribution to the local governance system in the country.

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