‘Ghana’s decentralisation yet to fully realise its potentials’

Professor Stephen Adei, the Dean of Arts and Sciences at the Ashesi University, has said decentralisation in Ghana is yet to fully realise its potential as an instrument of development and good governance.

He said the political leadership and the central bureaucracies had shown commitment to effective decentralisation and that the politicisation of local governance in the winner-take all situation had weakened citizen’s involvement in the running of local governance.

Prof. Adei was speaking at the Fourth Bi-annual Professional Conference organised by the Office of the Head of Local Government Service Secretariat (OHLGS) at Ho.

The three-day conference is on the theme: “Transforming Ghana through Effective Leadership, Coordination and Implementation of Government’s Policies at the Decentralised Level in the 30 Years of Ghana’s Decentralisation”.

It brought together more than 400 professionals within the Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs) and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).

The conference is expected to lead to the realisation and identification of options to address challenges in the implementation of policies and systems in line with the Service’s mandate.

Prof. Adei said the failure to achieve the anticipated citizens’ engagement in local governance was, however, the most disturbing, adding that the old-time communal labour had become a thing of the past.

He said the major constraints had been the capacity of local administration to ensure the engagement of citizens in local governance.

He said strong political will, qualitative improvement of leadership in local governance, reducing bureaucracy, building capacity of local administrations, adequate mobilisation of resources, curbing corruption, and enhancing citizens’ engagement in the decentralised process were the major roadmaps that Ghana needed to achieve for effective decentralisation.

Prof Adei said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s agenda of the creation of the new regions as well as the referendum to be held next year on the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives were landmarks in the history of local governance in Ghana.

Dr Nana Ato Arthur, the Head of the OHLGS, said the Local Government Service had developed a system; Inter-Service, Sectoral Collaboration and Cooperation System, to ensure collaboration and coordination of Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Public Service Institutions, State Owned Enterprises and private institutions to generate synergies towards the achievement of objectives in a mutually beneficial manner at all levels.

He requested the offices of the Senior Minister to support the implementation of the Inter-Service, Sectoral Collaboration and Cooperation System by ensuring a buy-in of all institutions at the national, regional and district levels.


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