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15.05.2007 General News

U/W chiefs commit to women’s development

By myjoyonline

Traditional authorities in the Upper West Region have taken steps to bridge the gender gap in the traditional set-ups to facilitate the active participation of women in the development process.

This is to enable women in the region to take advantage of support opportunities from some development agencies that come with certain gender-based requirements.

In addition, the traditional authorities have initiated discussions in their various traditional areas to facilitate easy access to land by women for productive and investment purposes.

These were contained in a communiqué adopted and issued by the chiefs of the region at the end of a workshop to explore opportunities for resourcing traditional authorities to facilitate community development at Wa.

The workshop, which was organised by the Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organisational Development (CIKOD) and sponsored by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAF), aimed at strengthening the financial base of traditional authorities for sustainable land administration and poverty reduction in northern Ghana.

On land-related conflicts and planned land boundary demarcations, the communiqué said the traditional authorities had prepared zonal action plans towards enhancing the process of demarcation and registration of land titles in a participatory manner and with the involvement of all stakeholders.

It said the traditional authorities had also proposed that lands should be used as equity in investment rather than selling it to investors, adding that all traditional councils should come up with a policy to pay a percentage of every plot of land sold in the area into an investment initiative.

The communiqué called on the Regional Lands Commission to pay a percentage of ground rents to traditional authorities for development purposes, as well as insist on signatures of chiefs and family heads (tindamba) in order to discourage illegal sale of lands.

"We have also taken conscious steps to document various traditional events, such as festivals and eco-tourism resource potential, that can help provide the basis for advancement of our culture towards the development of the tourism sector in our part of the country," the communiqué said.

It appealed to the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) to support traditional authorities to access funding from the Consolidated Fund like other independent institutions, as well as replace unit committees with village/town development committees to spare the government the huge sums of money that it sank into organising unit committee elections and to enhance unity in communities.

The communiqué further appealed to the President to include in his President Special Initiative, shea, guinea fowls, soya beans, cotton, mangoes and other areas that the region had a comparative advantage in production.

Credit: Daily Graphic

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