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28.10.2004 Regional News

Sixth Development Dialogue ends in Kumasi

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Kumasi, Oct. 28, GNA - Participants at the just-ended Sixth Development Dialogue series in Kumasi have called for an amendment to the constitution on the appointment of people to the district assemblies. They said one-third of the 30 per cent appointments made by the President should be given to traditional authorities to ensure their full participation in the local government system in their areas of jurisdiction.

These were contained in a recommendation adopted at the end of the three-day conference, which was under the theme, "Decentralising the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS): The Need For Social Accountability".

According to the participants, even though the constitution made it clear that the President should appoint the 30 per cent in consultation with the traditional authorities and other interested groups in the districts, chiefs were often not consulted before the appointments.

The participants also advocated for the inclusion of traditional authorities on all strategic committees at the district level and form monitoring teams to supervise development projects in the district. They also called for regular dialogue between traditional authorities and district assembly staff on development matters and encourage community members to demand social accountability from public officers.

The participants further urged the assemblies to initiate programmes that were of interest to the communities and called for frequent consultative meetings of district assemblies with all stakeholders in order to create a sense of ownership and responsibility among the people.

They called for the sensitisation of parents on gender balance and equal opportunities to their children and the reintroduction of civic education at the basic levels of education.

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