The Executive Director of the Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organizational Development (CIKOD), Mr Bernard Guri, has called on government to strengthen the capacities of traditional authorities by making resources available to them as a foundation for sustainable development.
He said research had shown that over 75 per cent of Ghanaians were still dependent on their traditional authorities for governance and social organization while over 85 per cent relied basically on traditional medicine for their health care.
He said: "This therefore means that ignoring our indigenous resource base means ignoring the largest part of the potential for the development of the people".
Mr Guri was speaking at a workshop organized for traditional rulers in the Upper West region by CIKOD in e collaboration with Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAF), a German organization operating in the country.
The workshop sought to find ways of strengthening the financial base of traditional authorities for sustainable land administration and poverty reduction in the Upper West region in particular and the Northern part of Ghana in general.
He observed that although majority of the people depended on indigenous institutions for their social organization and livelihood, development agents did not sufficiently consider the institutions in their planning.
Mr. Guri commended the New Patriotic Party government for supporting traditional authority by establishing the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Cultural Affaires.
Mr. Klaus Loetzer, Resident Representative of KAF, noted that traditional leaders were poorly resourced and sometimes depended on other benefactors for their sustenance and development of their communities.
He said chiefs were front line agents of development and should be resourced to enable them to contribute effectively to national development.