Mr Mahmud Khalid, Upper West Regional Minister has observed that building the capacity of traditional leaders on leadership, gender and conflict management was crucial to Ghana's development.
He explained that leadership, gender mainstreaming and conflict management were key developmental issues and effective grasp of them would be highly beneficial to the country's development efforts.
Mr Khalid made the observation at a training workshop for traditional women leaders from Upper West, East and Northern Regions at Wa on Tuesday to build their capacity to support government in its development efforts.
The Centre for Indigenous and Organisational Development (CIKOD) an NGO organised the workshop with sponsorship from Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, a German NGO.
Mr Khalid said issues of leadership, gender and conflict management had taken a centre stage in the socio-cultural and political agenda of the people and urged the women to prepare themselves adequately to resolve them for the growth of the country.
“People in Upper West Region expect the workshop to strengthen the capacity of our traditional leaders for effective participation in local government, natural resource management and socio-economic development to help reduce poverty in the area,” Mr Khalid said.
He said the economic prosperity and cultural heritage of people in the north were being destroyed because of conflicts and appealed to the women to help expose conflict mongers for accelerated development of the area.
“Government would not hesitate to deal drastically with persons who fan conflicts for their selfish ends. Indeed we should not allow such persons to get away with it under the guise of political, religion or ethnicity considerations,” Mr Khalid said.
Mr Ben Guri, Executive Director of CIKOD appealed to traditional rulers in the north to think of en-skinning queen mothers to support them to enhance development.
He said the role of queen mothers to bring development to their communities in the south should be emulated, adding” We need to respond quickly to the challenges of our time because culture is not static”.
Professor Stephen Kendie, a lecturer at University of Cape Coast and a resource person called on traditional rulers to re-think about the negative perceptions they had regarding women and support them to contribute effectively to national development.
He urged them to encourage the education of girls and foster good links between them and the district assemblies to enhance development in the communities.
“It would be unwise on the part of our traditional rulers to detach themselves from activities of the district assemblies because the people as well as the assemblies are under the supervision and jurisdiction of chiefs and they need to complement each other's efforts for the benefit of the people,” Professor Kendie said.
He called on traditional rulers and other stakeholders in leadership positions to work to promote peace at all times for the development of the north, saying without peace nothing meaningfully could be achieved.
Mr Isaac Owusu-Mensah, Senior Programme Manager of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, said the NGO had been involved in promoting good governance and support economic and social reforms of government.