NGO holds stakeholders meeting on national budget

Foundation for Grassroots Initiatives in Africa (GrassRootsAfrica), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) has organised a stakeholders meeting in Kombosgo in the Upper East Region, to broaden public understanding about the 2009 National Budget.

GrassRootsAfrica, which seeks to strengthen political and social rights and poverty reduction in the region, organised the meeting for District Budget officers drawn from the Bolgatanga Municipality, Bongo, Talensi-Nabdam, and Kessena-Nankana.

The Project Development Officer of the Local Civic Coalition (LCC) groups of the NGO, Mr. Edwin N Batiir said majority of people had no knowledge about the budget and therefore made it difficult for them to contribute to budget implementation issues at the district level.

The groups are formed by GrassRootsAfrica in the Area and Town Council levels and empowered to contribute to the decision making process on issues affecting their communities and to demand for the rights and needs of the people.

Mr. Batiir noted that lack of knowledge about the budget statement is among the factors affecting the decentralization process.

He said GrassRootsAfrica and Ibis West Africa; another NGO would empower people at the grassroots to actively contribute to the planning and development process.

The Capacity Building Officer of the LCC, Mr. James Awini, explained that the coalition would help to address the lack of knowledge about the decision making processes especially in deprived communities.

He said issues relating to Education, Agriculture, Rural Water and
Sanitation, Roads and Highways, Energy, Social Welfare and Health, which were captured in the budget, would be explained in a very simplified manner to the people, to enable them to understand and contribute during the implementation of projects.

The district budget officers commended GrassRootsAfrica for supporting the government to implement the decentralization process.

Source: GNA

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