French Solidarity Project Ends Final Steering Committee Meeting
The final steering committee meeting on the French Solidarity Project geared towards 'Strengthening the accountability of Ghana's central and local government' has been held in Accra.
The project which seeks to facilitate public sector reform and support the decentralization process is being funded with a budget of 800,000 Euros over a period of three years.
The project aimed more particularly at reinforcing accountability through a number of actions: performance contracts, training, open forum and dialogue, ensuring progress of communication and consultation programs implemented by the ministries, improving the capacity of local government and development of coordinating systems.
The French Embassy in a statement, copied to the Ghana News Agency said in attendance were the French Ambassador to Ghana Mr Francois Pujolas; the Director of Research, Statistics and Information Management representing the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), both of whom Co-Chaired the Committee.
Others are the Rector and Deputy Rector of Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Executive Chairman of the State Enterprises Commission, as well as other partner agencies such as the Centre for Democratic Development, FD Associates and the Touton Company.
The statement noted that another objective of the project was to improve citizen participation by consolidating mechanisms of accountability or transparency.
This would involve the sensitisation of the civil society in order to foster a better appreciation of issues relating to statutory reforms and available tools for keeping policy makers accountable.
Mr Pujolas said: 'The first component of the project was principally based on training, which 'represents a crucial element in the strengthening of the public service that, in collaboration with the private sector, will nurture a more vibrant, inclusive and sustainable economic development'.
He said in this vein, more than 200 civil servants had been trained in various sessions facilitated by visiting French experts from the Ecole Nationale d'Administration (ENA) and Expertise France, whereas 10 civil servants underwent training organised by ENA in Paris.
He noted that an equal number of women and men had been given this opportunity in each training session.
'I am pleased with the outcomes of the project, the objectives of which have been attained to a large extent,' the Ambassador said.
'The fruit of an enduring cooperation between France and Ghana, especially in the area of decentralization and the public sector because, since 2006, the French government has disbursed 3.2 million Euros to finance three projects within the sector,' he added.
The statement said as a means of promoting citizen participation, especially that of women and youth, a call for projects focusing on the reinforcement of links between civil society and local authorities was launched.
It said over 10 000 people benefitted from various actions carried out under the initiative.
It said also, 11 forums bringing together civil society and parliamentarians were organised to encourage interaction between the population and their representatives, in the Western region which served as the pilot site of the project.
It noted that the consolidation of the place of women in public discourse and in local governance, as well as the increase in representation of women at the district assembly level were major areas of concern.
It said sensitisation campaigns were embarked upon, resulting in the training and networking of over a hundred women opinion leaders and policy makers.
The statement said finally, the project had enabled the realisation of 'green' micro-projects aimed at combating deforestation, promoting solar energy and fighting global warming.
It said the Co-Chairperson of the Committee, Madam Dorothy Onny, reiterated the Ambassador's comments by calling on the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and its partners to explore possible fields of cooperation and future projects to undertake with France in the domain of public sector reform.