Radio journalists attend workshop on promoting effective local governance

Professor Kwamena Ahwoi, a Lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), on Monday stressed the need to differentiate the three forms of decentralisation to avoid creating problems with their implementation.

He said the three forms of decentralisation – decongestion, delegation and devolution – when differentiated, would facilitate their implementation.

Prof. Ahwoi, a Former Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, explained that devolution was the true decentralization process because it would give full power to the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to be responsible for their actions.

He said although decongestion, which was also another form of decentralisation, would lessen the work load at the central level, it did not transfer decision making powers to the local levels.

Prof. Ahwoi was presenting a paper on “Understanding the Local Government Concept and the Role of the Media” at a two-day workshop for selected radio journalists in Accra on how to use their medium of communication to promote effective local governance in Ghana.

Other topics to be treated include “Understanding the Decentralisation Process and Structure; Its Importance and Functions” and “Developing Radio Programmes that Focus Mainly on Local Governance Issues in Local Communities”.

The workshop, being organised by The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), is to assist participants to have in-depth understanding of the Local Government System and also devote part of their airtime to local governance news.

About 50 radio journalists are attending the workshop on the theme: “Using Radio to Promote Effective Local Governance in Ghana”.

Prof. Ahwoi said effective local governance system should be functional and an avenue where skills and resources could be transferred to the local level and measures established to check corruption and systemic problems.

He said the media could do so much to make the local governance system very vibrant.

Professor Kwame Karikari, Executive Director of MFWA, called on journalists to be very critical when reporting on the local government system to ensure fair and balanced reportage.

“As much as we must be critical to know what is happening in the system we need to be objective in our criticisms,” he said.

He, therefore, urged the participants to give constructive criticisms to correct the problems.

“For all you may know the problems are not necessarily corruption it could be systemic problems which must be corrected,” he added.

Source: GNA

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