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22.11.2005 Regional News

Government to support area councils financially

By GNA
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Bekwai (Ash), Nov. 22, GNA - The Government is to support Area Councils with 150 million cedis each for the implementation of their development projects in line with the plan to help them to live up to expectation.

Mr Amo Nimo, Head of Institutional Strengthening and a Capacity Building Specialist in the Ashanti Region, stated this at a four-day workshop for three Area Councils in the Amansie East district of Ashanti at Bekwai at the weekend.

The Asiwa, Dadieso and Abonsamso Area Councils were represented at the workshop under the Community-Based Rural Development Project (CBRDP), a rural poverty reduction and capacity building programme funded by the World Bank and the African Development Bank in collaboration with the Ghana Government. The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development through the District Assemblies is implementing the project to empower the local communities and beneficiaries to identify, plan, implement and maintain small-scale infrastructure.

Mr Nimo stated that the project would strengthen institutional capacity at the district and sub-district levels to improve efficiency of rural resource transfer for the sustainability of poverty reduction interventions.

He said the project would also support the government's strategy of decentralising development responsibilities to district assemblies, area and town councils.

Mr Nimo said a series of workshops had been planned for Area Councils to enable them to come out with their own development plans. Mr Kingsley Kofi Sencherey, District Planning Officer and Co-ordinator for the project, said the three Area Councils were benefiting on a pilot basis in the Ashanti Region. It would be implemented in the other Area Councils upon the success if the pilot one, he stated.

The participants recommended that Area Councils had to be granted some percentage of the district assemblies' common fund for the development of their areas and stressed the need for the government to pay Area Council as well as Assembly Members allowances from the consolidated fund.

The participants also suggested that Area Councils should be allowed to sign certificates for works executed by contractors in their areas to help check shoddy work.

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