NGO launches programme to improve local governance

The Community Land and Development Foundation (COLANDEF), an NGO, is implementing a four-year programme aimed at strengthening citizens’ participation and inclusiveness in local governance in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis.

The programme, which is being implemented in partnership with the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) and CHF International, is dubbed “Grassroots Outreach and Civic Awareness Campaign for Citizen Activism and Participation of the Urban Poor in the Governance of the STMA”.

Speaking at the launching of the programme at Sekondi on Thursday, Mr Abdulai Zakari, the Metropolitan Coordinating Director, cautioned the implementers against using the programme as a platform for partisan politics.

He said the STMA was collaborating with the COLANDEF and CHF International on the basis of the decentralization programme.

He urged those involved in the implementation of the programme to be unbiased and focus on improving the living conditions and standards of the people.

Mr Zakari said 16 departments were now directly under the STMA and this highlights the need for the composite budget whose implementation would start in July this year.

Mr Alberto Wilde, Country Director of CHF International, said the programme is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and would be implemented in 35 communities in the metropolis.

He said the programme aims at assisting the Accra and Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assemblies to work sustainably for the urban poor in promoting inclusiveness in urban planning, governance and management.

Mr Wilde said this would be done through increasing constructive participation of slum residents in governance, inclusiveness planning and budgeting processes in the two metropolitan assemblies and increasing the capacity of the two assemblies to generate revenue.

He said it is only when the poor are involved in planning and implementation will their felt needs be addressed adding that there are laws to ensure this but the practice is far from desirable.

Source: GNA

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