09.09.2004 Regional News

Chiefs urged to be development focus

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Tamale, Sept 09, GNA - A chief in the Northern Region has appealed to chiefs in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions to promote good governance, peace and development of their people.

They should put in mechanisms for conflict prevention, management and resolution in their traditional areas to ensure peaceful co-existence and good neighbourliness.

The Sandapewura, Chief J.J. Bakari, made the appeal at the inauguration of a 600-million-cedi Ghana-US Resource Centre on the campus of the Institute of Local Government Studies in Tamale on Wednesday. The centre, called "American Corner", is the first of its kind in Ghana and would be used to encourage people in the area to learn more about the US, its government, history, educational institutions and the business environment.

The centre, which was established through the collaboration of the US Embassy and the Institute of Local Government Studies, is stocked with books and 12 computers connected to the Internet.

Chief Bakari said chieftaincy disputes and other conflicts had impacted negatively on the lives of the people in the Northern regions and called on the chiefs to partner NGOs and other stakeholders to help develop the area.

"As chiefs, we have the moral responsibility to shift our focus to human centred development especially in education, health, economic and cultural development rather than always engaging in conflicts and disputes that divide us."

The Sandapewura appealed to traditional councils in the three regions to study customary laws with a view to developing appropriate unified and acceptable systems to avoid rampant conflicts over succession.

Chief Bakari thanked the US government for the facility and said information gathering would serve as a basic tool for the healthy democratic process.

Mrs Esther Ofei-Aboagye, the acting director of the Institute, said facilities at the centre would be used to train personnel under the local government system to enhance their administrative, managerial, financial and operational efficiency.

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