IDEG proposes formation of Local Development Advisory Councils

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The Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) is proposing the formation of Local Development Advisory Councils in all districts across the country to advise Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies on development issues.

The councils, according to IDEG, will comprise chiefs, opinion leaders and technocrats in the respective districts.

Mr Kofi Awity, Director of Operations at IDEG touted Ghana’s democratic credentials but said Ghana’s decentralisation system needs to be strengthened to bring governance to the doorstep of those at the local level.

“Across Africa and the world Ghana’s democracy has been lauded as one in a lime light, several countries actually look up to Ghana’s democracy and try to model theirs according to ours, but we are saying is that we still have to decentralise and strengthen our structures in a way that democracy will be felt not only at the national level but also at the local governance level,” he said.

Speaking exclusively to radiotamale.com Mr Awity said IDEG was bringing in new things to strengthen decentralization, to open up the political space and make local government inclusive of other political parties at the grassroots.

“IDEG is proposing the Local Development Advisory Council in every district that will bring together eminent people in communities including chiefs, technocrats who will be able to advise the district assemblies on development issues,” he disclosed.

Decentralization policy is entrenched in the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and other legislative instruments. Decentralization is envisioned to transfer functions, power, means (funds) and competence (know-how) to the District Assemblies from the central government, ministries and departments

However, till date the decentralization is still fraught with a lot of challenges.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the run up to the 2016 elections promised to ensure the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs). This according to the party is to strengthen the decentralization system.

Togo Crisis

Reacting to a question on political crisis in Togo where opposition groups in the West African country have in the last weeks been calling for Faure Gnassingbé to step down, Mr Awity said Ghana could learn from the crisis to avoid a similar occurrence.

“You know what is happening in Togo is the very complicated form of what could potentially happen in Ghana. It’s about exclusion. All other political parties or people with political ambitions have been excluded from the governance system. We don’t want that exclusion leading to violence happening in Ghana, so we are saying open it up,” he admonished.

By: Blessed Eduamoah Dadzie, radiotamale.com