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09.08.2005 General News

Minister calls for reforms to weed-out corrupt chiefs

GNA

Koforidua, Aug 09, GNA - Mr Kofi Adusei Poku, a Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, has said chieftaincy ought to be streamlined to ensure that only persons not tainted with corruption, greediness and other dishonest tendencies become traditional rulers. He said some actors in the chieftaincy domain were undermining the relevance of their office, thus stifling development.

Addressing a workshop for members of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs at Koforidua on Monday, Mr Poku said it is time to ensure that the chieftaincy was streamlined and "only qualified persons take chieftaincy titles."

Paramount chiefs, divisional chiefs and queen mothers are attending the workshop aimed at sensitising the participants to solicit the interest of traditional rulers in formulating policies to implement the Community-Based Rural Development Project (CBRDP).

The ministry is implementing the programme under a 60-million-dollar World Bank support and additional 10 million Euros funding from the French Development Agency.

It seeks to provide feeder roads, farm tracks, irrigation dams and boreholes for rural communities.

Other components of the project include cottage enterprise development and natural resource management. Mr Poku acknowledged the relevance of chieftaincy but said its continued essence would hinge on the institution's ability to mobilize the people for development in an "atmosphere of transparency and accountability."

He said the ministry was ready to help organize training workshops for chiefs on modern practices on development and governance as well as proposals to establish a Royal College to upgrade the skills of traditional rulers.

Mr Yaw Barimah, the Eastern Regional Minister, said a thriving rural economy would require the inputs of chiefs to succeed and assured traditional authorities of the readiness of the government to dialogue with them to build a vibrant cottage economy.

He appealed to district chief executives to tap the experiences of the chiefs and deepen the already existing channels of co-operation between the central government and the chiefs.

Nene Dawutey Ologo V1, Konor of Yilo Krobo and President of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs, said traditional rulers were prepared to support any government that recognizes its relevance in pushing forward the development agenda of the country.

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