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16.11.2009 Politics

Local Government holds consultative meetings with Political Parties

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Akosombo, Nov 15, GNA - The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development is holding consultative meetings with representatives of recognized political parties towards the acceleration of decentralizing

Government for the active participation of the ordinary Ghanaian, at Akosombo.

The meeting, being held with support of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) and the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS) is to afford the participants the opportunity to deliberate on their experience of the Local Assembly System, after 20 years, to recommend ways that would ensure efficient and sustainable local level development.

It is also to provide an opportunity for the participants to reflect on the rights of the ordinary Ghanaian and his participation in the system.

Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, said the review process, which had consisted of a series of consultative and reflective activities would be in keeping with the original philosophy of participation underlying the decentralization effort itself.

Mr Yieleh Chireh said it was imperative that the review process provided opportunities for the various sections of the population, irrespective of education, gender, geographical location, political affiliation, age or religion to contribute.

"We have also tried to use the review process to rekindle popular interest in local governance and local level democracy," he said.

He said it was important to keep in mind that the stakeholder consultation process was not an end in itself but a means to an end, adding "This will be in line with the inclusiveness that the Mills Administration wishes to achieve."

Mr Yieleh Chireh said as part of the review process 10 regional level consultations were organized under the auspices of the Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs) with identifiable interest groups making submissions and the members of the public also making their input.

He observed that the regional consultations had yielded considerable fruits, adding that they had validated the concerns of stakeholders and provided vivid illustrations of decentralization and local government in practice.

Mr Yieleh Chireh said the first decade of the assembly system of local governance allowed the government to start the process by putting in the administrative machinery, looking at the systems, establishing the linkages and the checks and balances and envisaging the relationships between the actors.

"The second decade has demonstrated the strains and stress of our arrangements and where we need to take corrective action."

Dr Klaus D. Loetzer, KAS representative, commended the government for embarking on the review process and said their organization was happy to associate themselves with the programme.

He urged the political parties to intensify political education to help make the decentralization process a success.

The meeting is being held under the theme:" Twenty years of Decentralization of the Assembly system of Local Governance in Ghana". It ends on Sunday.


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