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19.02.2009 General News

Chiefs suggest they should be allocated Common Fund


Traditional authorities at Wenchi, Tain and Techiman in the Brong-Ahafo Region have suggested that part of the assembly's common fund be allocated to them so they could also initiate development programmes.

The chiefs made the suggestion at the close of a three-day workshop for divisional chiefs, queen mothers, district and municipal assemblies as well as registrars of the traditional councils in Techiman.

The workshop was under the theme, “traditional councils and district assemblies, addressing issues of transparency and accountability within local governance”.

Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organizational Development (CIKOD), an NGO organised the workshop sponsored by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), a German political foundation.

The traditional authorities said they could effectively mobilize the people to initiate and complete development projects beneficial to all the people.

The chiefs said they should be part of district and municipal committees so as to draw concrete plans for the development of their areas.

They said assemblies should not “work in a vacuum” as other stakeholders could be involved in drawing development plans that would lead to the improved livelihood of the people.

“Though there are no structures as functional units for the planning and implementation of development projects, policy advocacy should be worked out to strengthen traditional authorities”, the chiefs said.

The chiefs pledged to submit themselves to accountability and scrutiny by the government auditing system and to enhance their development agenda.

Mr. Klaus D. Leotzer, resident representative of KAS, expressed appreciation for the contributions made by the participants and expressed the hope that traditional authorities would spearhead the promotion of accountability and transparency in local governance.

Mr. Bernard Guri, Executive Director of CIKOD, said the workshop was aimed at strengthening the trust and confidence between traditional authorities, government officials and district assemblies to enhance local level governance.

He said a bill for decentralization was being worked out whilst the chieftaincy bill was also being processed in Parliament to allow people at the grassroots to play a meaningful role in the decision making process.

Nana Owusu Ansah Kokroko II, Executive Director of the Centre for Legislative Affairs and Krontihene of Wenchi, presided.