Implementation of Ghana’s decentralization policy is slow – Stakeholders

Stakeholders at an advocacy workshop in Bolgatanga on Friday, noted that implementation of Ghana’s decentralization policy had fallen short of stimulating mass participation in governance at grass roots.

Mr Paul Osei Kuffuor, Programme Manager, Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), a research and advocacy institute, said after two decades of implementation of Ghana’s decentralization policy, the process was still too slow.

He made the observation at a workshop, organized by CDD-Ghana and Deutsche Gesllechaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on the theme: “Strengthening the role of civil society in decentralization and local governance in Ghana”.

Mr Kuffuor said the implementation of the policy was slow because of the lack of political will and capacity constraints.

He also cited influence of bureaucratic politics at the local level even where the rural poor had achieved some form of representation, accountability mechanisms, which were usually not strong enough to ensure that their interest was represented effectively in decision making.

Mr Kuffuor said in view of the vision of CDD-Ghana to promote democracy, good governance and economic transparency in Ghana and Africa, the workshop was part of a long-term strategy to promote a vibrant and well-informed civil society to respond to the demands of accountability, transparency and participation in local governance.

He said it also sought to disseminate the contents of the 2010 decentralization policy framework and its accompanying action plan that had been developed in consultation with civil society organizations to enhance their capacity to monitor and advocate good governance at the grass roots.

Mr Edward Ayiriba Ayagle, the Bolgatanga Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), said though Ghana’s decentralization policy sought to devolve political, administrative and financial authority from the center to the assemblies, only some of the goals had been achieved.

The MCE applauded efforts at reviewing the sub-district structures, recognition of traditional authorities in local governance arrangement and collaboration between assemblies and interest groups.

He said service and financial management laws enacted in the past two decades, contradicted devolution of powers and responsibilities to the assemblies, thereby impeding complementarities, consistency and sustainability in local level development.

Mr Robert Ajene, a retired educationist, noted that the country had suffered political ineptitude in the implementation of the decentralization process.

Ms Sandra Jensen, Technical Adviser, GIZ, CSSP, said the workshop would afford civil societies and other stakeholders the chance to learn more about the decentralization policy to enable them to work effectively with government institutions to enhance the policy.

Presentations were made on the new decentralization and local governance in Ghana, the policy framework/action plan 2010, and the medium-term development plan of the Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly.

Source: GNA

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.