The maiden annual national delegates conference of the Citizens Committee Network (CiCoNet) is underway at Osino in the Fanteakwa South District of the Eastern region.
The three-day conference, which is on the theme, “Building Local Capacity to Sustain Community Development Initiatives – the role of CiCoNet” is being attended by about 120 members of CiCoNet drawn from Donkro-Nkwanta, Sallamkrom, Nwoase and Kyeredeso in the Nkoranza South Municipality in the Bono East region; Sekyimase in the Abuakwa South district as well as Juaso and Nsuapemso in the Fanteakwa South district of the Eastern region.
The conference will, among others, be deliberating on a wide range of issues relative to ensuring closer collaboration between community members and their respective district assemblies to facilitate rapid socio-economic development at the local level.
Addressing the conference via a virtual platform, the Founder and Executive Director of Advocates for Community Alternatives (ACA), the organisers of the event, Jonathan Kaufman said the various branches of CiCoNet were preparing to engage in the medium-term development process to ensure that their future developmental needs are well incorporated in their respective district assemblies’ development plans.
“The work of CiCoNet is creating a close relationship between community and municipal/district assemblies where there is a lot of confidence, a level of trust and a level of knowledge between the two that can only work for the benefit of the citizens of your areas and your zones.”
He encouraged participants to listen to each other, share experiences, triumphs and challenges as they have gathered for the first time as a net
Mr. Kaufman asked the participants to take advantage of the conference to identify priorities that you could fit into the national development agenda as well.
For her part, the Community Development Director of ACA – Ghana/West Africa – Nana Ama Nketia Quaidoo, announced plans to open more branches of CiCoNet in other parts on the country and in other countries in the sub-region.
According to her, CiCoNet members serve as “watch-dogs” in their communities and play a critical role in the pushing for rapid socio-economic development.
She said some of the CiCoNet members were trained in Contact Tracing last year during the out-break of Covid-19 and contributed immensely in educating people on the disease.
She encouraged members of CiCoNet to keep themselves abreast of the work of their district assemblies to be able to liaise effectively with them and also be in a better position to explain the assembly’s programmes to their compatriots.
Madam Mary Kanlisi, the Fanteakwa South District Planning Officer, who represented the DCE of the area, lauded the efforts of ACA for making meaningful impact in the various communities it is operating.
“I would like to thank ACA for this and encourage them to continue with their good work. I therefore believe organizing this programme is a good initiative to bring all partner-communities together for further dialogue to move the course of socio-economic development forward,” she stressed.