Ghana’s Authoritative Book on Decentralisation launched

Professor Kwamena Ahwoi, one of the prime architects of Ghana’s Decentralisation Programme, has immortalised his rich knowledge and experiences in a 360 page-book, to guide the nation in its efforts to make governance more participatory and accessible to every stakeholder.

Many experts and stakeholders in Local Governance turned up at the launch, on Tuesday, in Accra, to lend their support to Ghana’s longest serving Minister of Local Government and Rural Development to mark his big day.  

In 15 chapters, Prof Ahwoi puts together essays, lectures, seminar presentations, consultancy reports and conference addresses, he authored over many years to analyse the situational and theoretical conceptual framework for Decentralization in Ghana.

Prof Joseph Atsu Ayee of the Institute of Democratic Governance, who reviewed the book, titled: “Decentralisation in Ghana, A Collection of Essays”, aptly describes it as “a reference for students of governance and stakeholders involved in the reform of Local Government.”

The Book, he said, would contribute immensely to the process of Decentralisation Reform and Constitutional Review of Local Government Decentralisation.

Hajia Alima Mahama, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, said the Book would become a monitoring framework for staff who would go on monitoring visits to the district assemblies and it would enrich the Decentralisation Process across Ghana.

The book, published by Winmat Publishers Limited, addresses issues such as the “Ghanaian Context of Decentralisation”, “Conceptualising Decentralisation in a Unitary State”, “Institutional and Legal Assessment of Decentralisation” , “Managing the Image of the District Assembly: The Role of Public Relations and Complaints Committee”,  and “Organisational Framework for Implementation of Decentralisation Reforms.”

Paa Kwesi Bekoe Ammisah-Arthur, the immediate past  Vice President, who was Guest of Honour at the launch said: “What Professor Ahwoi has done is to make sure that ideas that were peripheral in the 1980’s have become conventional now, so there was a model of what we call the paradigm of Centralized Administration, that has given way to something superior.

“Ghana had made a lot of progress but there are new challenges, which come up every day as we implement national programmes, therefore, we need to develop the capacity to design a new concept as it was done 30 years ago, and this new concept should accommodate the new reality that we face.”

 Prof Ahwoi, who is a Governance Professor at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) School of Governance and Leadership, explained that the concluding essay was an analysis of a series and accompanying recommendations prepared at the instance of Constitution Review Commission set up by the Fifth Government of the Fourth Republic.

The purpose was to make proposals for amendments to the Constitution after stakeholder and citizen consultations on the provisions of the Fourth Republican Constitution.

He said the penultimate essay contained 45 questions which, if appropriately answered, should provide a near-accurate record of Ghana’s score-sheet as far as the implementation of the Decentralisation Policy was concerned.

The book can be purchased at the EPP, Kingdom, Catholic, Methodist, Challenge and other leading bookshops in the country.

Source: GNA

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