The Executive Secretary of the Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee on Decentralisation (IMCC), Mahama Salifu, has said the new National Decentralisation Policy and Strategy (NDPS, 2020-2024) put together by the government would promote accountability and economic development at the local level.
The Executive Secretary further emphasized that government has shown in the new NDPS formulated with the aim to address system challenges of local democracy, its commitment to help increase internally generated revenue of assemblies, promote community-based social infrastructure development and deepen local democracy.
The NDPS also took local economic development one-step further by acceding powers to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to enter into Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) with entrepreneurs and enterprises to promote local industrialisation, agriculture production, tourism and other economic activities in which they have local endowments.
In addition, the NDPS localises Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda by facilitating local governments internally generated revenue mobilisation means and improving their financial management.
Speaking at a nationwide series of sensitisation workshop on the new NDPS (2020-2024), Mr. Salifu, reiterated that this enhanced version of the existing national decentralization policy will help propel local economic transformation in Ghana.
“The recent attempt by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to cede some of his constitutional powers to the citizens to elect their own Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) demonstrated the commitment of the government to realise democracy. The President through the new decentralisation policy aims to bring not only government and services closer to the people but also accountability,” he said.
Mr. Salifu emphasized that without downward accountability, local democracy was not complete and that the new policy among its objectives was to fulfil the requirements under Article 240(2) (e) of the 1992 Constitution, which provides for accountability of Local Government Authorities (LGA) to the people in local government areas.
It would be recalled that the NDPS was approved by Cabinet in December 2019, with funding by the European Union Delegation to Ghana which makes provision for sensitization resources.
The sensitisation workshop brought together Regional Coordinating Directors and Economic Planning Officers, District Coordinating Directors, Budget Analysts, Planning Officers, Traditional Authorities, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), private enterprises and other key stakeholders across the country acting in the local space.
The participants were carefully selected to discuss all the 22 policy measures envisaged with related activities, outputs and timelines for implementation over the next five years. The roles and responsibilities of the stakeholders were discussed to ensure effective and efficient implementation, monitoring of achievements and shortfalls for immediate remedies.
The workshop also addressed some imperatives for achieving the envisaged decentralisation system which includes the transfer of functions, powers, responsibilities and resources from the central to local government and measures to build the capacity of local authorities to plan, initiate, coordinate, manage and execute policies.