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02.09.2005 Regional News

District assemblies to be empowered to solve land disputes

GNA

Kumasi, Sept. 2, GNA - The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) and the UN-Habitat are to launch a land administration project to assist district assemblies build capacity to resolve and manage chieftaincy and land disputes in their communities. A pilot scheme to be funded by the World Bank through the UN-Habitat will soon take off at the cost of 536,000 dollars.

Mr Kofi Poku-Adusei, Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, who announced this, said the objective was to build local capacities to help solve long-standing land and boundary disputes to create enabling environment for foreign and local investments in the country.

He announced this at a sensitisation workshop for traditional authorities in the Ashanti Region on the Community-Based Rural Development Project (CBRDP) in Kumasi on Friday.

He said numerous chieftaincy and land disputes in certain parts of the country had created tension and stifled development in those areas. He called for the streamlining of chieftaincy titles in the country to ensure that only qualified persons took such titles.

Mr Poku-Adusei said the workshop was to sensitise the traditional rulers on the implementation process of the project and solicit their influence, as traditional authorities to achieve the objectives of the project and urged the participants to involve their sub-chiefs in the project.

Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, Ashanti Regional Minister, said the CBRDP, which was being implemented with an expanded scope, would help improve social infrastructure such as education, health, water and sanitation and to reduce unemployment through skills training. He said the project could not achieve success without the involvement of chiefs, who were the spiritual and physical embodiment of the people. Mr Boafo said the era was now ripe for traditional leaders to lead the people to fight poverty, disease and ignorance in order to achieve sustainable development. Daasebre Osei Bonsu II, Mamponghene, who chaired the function, called for a percentage of the common fund to be given to chiefs to finance their activities and play their expected roles efficiently. 02 Sept. 05

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