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06.05.2009 General News

Chiefs advocate for a share of Common Fund

By gna
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Wa, May 6, GNA – Traditional rulers are to advocate for a share of the District Assemblies Common Fund to spearhead development in their communities, since they were in the position to spread development much faster than the government.

They are to take advantage of the good will they enjoyed under the immediate past and present government to press for their integration into the local government system, Mr. Bernard Guri, Executive Director of the Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organizational Development (CIKOD), a local NGO said at Wa on Tuesday.

He was speaking at a workshop at Wa organized by CIKOD in collaboration with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), a German NGO for some senior divisional chiefs and their women's leaders in the Upper West Region.

The one-day workshop sought to strengthen the integration of traditional rulers into local governance with special emphasis on transparency and accountability.

Mr Guri noted that although time was ripe for chiefs to be allocated resources to support the District Assemblies in the development process, the fear in certain quarters was that some chiefs lacked transparency and accountability and would not readily open themselves to queries.

“We are no more living in the colonial past, so if traditional councils want money to work, we must be prepared to be transparent, accountable and be ready to open our financial transactions for auditing,” he said.

Mr. Isaac Owusu-Mensah, Senior Programme Manager of KAS urged traditional authorities to play lead roles in promoting transparency and accountability in local governance.

He however noted that they could only perform that duty if the institution of chieftaincy was perceived by the public as transparent, credible and accountable in both personnel and conduct of business activities.

According to him, KAS would this year concentrate its activities in the sphere of local governance and in line with that they were working with Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA) to strengthen the relationship between the business community and district assemblies in southern Ghana.

Naa Dr Francis Bankah, Chief of Sombo in the Kaleo Traditional Area in the Nadowli District observed that the people had the potential to move out of poverty but were constrained by lack of leadership at the community level.

“Many communities are suffering and lagging behind in development because the leadership to mobilize them for development is not there,” he stated.

GNA

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