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29.04.2005 Regional News

Artisans form union to help in governance

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Sogakope, April 29, GNA- A civic union to facilitate the involvement of local people in governance and development in the South Tongu District has been inaugurated at Sogakope. The union, which is an amalgamation of 10 autonomous unions, includes beauticians, tailors dressmakers, carpenters, masons, bakers and traders associations.

Swearing in a 10-member executive of the South Tongu Civic Union (SOTOCU) at an inaugural durbar at Sogakope on Wednesday, Miss Kate Aglah, the acting South-Tongu District Chief Executive, commended the members for coming together in the interest of development. She said the union's bid to assist in revenue mobilisation; promotion of good health, education and sanitation was apt, as it would help raise awareness about these important issues in the area. The DCE pledged support of the assembly to help SOTOCU to remain focused.

Miss Aglah said the union's programme to encourage people in the area to participate in governance at the district level was also welcome.

"Mobilising local people for development is a crucial problem facing the district assemblies and I hope efforts of the union will draw more people to the wheel for development," she said.

She advised the unemployed youth in the district to take advantage of the job skills training by non-governmental organisations, Skills Training and Employment Placement (STEP) programme as well as the social support funds to help improve their economic status.

Mr Raymond Danso, Volta Region Zone Coordinator of Government's Accountability and Improvement Trust (GAIT II), an NGO, said that the participatory democracy at the grassroots was important for the development of the districts.

The Civic Union concept, a strategy to rope in many people as possible in issues of governance at the local level, is under the aegis of GAIT with funding support from USAID.

Bole and West Gonja districts in the Northern Region, Suhum-Kraboa-Coaltar District of the Eastern and Ho Municipality in the Volta Region would also benefit from the programme.

Miss Joyce Amegah, President of SOTOCU, said the Union would cooperate with the assembly to address teenage pregnancy, drug abuse, falling standards in education and sanitation problems in the district.

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