The Executive Secretary for thyroid Inter-Ministerial coordinating committee on Decentralisation has reaffirmed Government’s commitment to deepening decentralization in the country. Speaking at a media briefing organized by the Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee on Decentralization (IMCCoD) secretariat on Friday, 24th February, 2023 he highlighted government’s efforts to empower local communities and promote effective governance at the grassroots level.
Decentralization has been a key priority for governments in recent years, as it seeks to promote greater participation and accountability in local decision-making processes. Through the implementation of the National Decentralization Policy and Strategy (NDPS 2020-24), the government aims to strengthen the capacity of local governments to provide essential services and promote economic growth in their respective communities.
During the media briefing, Hon. Dennis Miracles Aboagye emphasized the importance of decentralization in promoting sustainable development and improving the lives of the citizens. He also highlighted the government’s commitment to working closely with key development partners and local communities to ensure the success of decentralization efforts across the country.
The IMCCoD secretariat, which played a key role in organizing the event, is responsible for coordinating and monitoring decentralization reforms across various ministries, departments and agencies as well as the Local Government level. The secretariat has been instrumental in driving the government’s decentralization agenda, and has worked tirelessly to ensure that subnational level have a greater say in decision-making processes that affect their lives.
As part of its efforts to deepen decentralization in Ghana, the Minister noted that the government has implemented a number of policies and programs aimed at strengthening the capacity of local governments and promoting greater citizen participation.
These include the passage of the Local Government (Department of the District Assemblies) (Commencement) Instrument (L.I 1961) which boosted administrative decentralization reform, the passage of the Local Government (Urban, Zonal, and Town Councils and Unit Committees) (Establishment) Instrument L.I 1967 to strengthen the mandate of sub-district structures, the recruitment of over 5,548 local government service staff across various staffing levels in accordance with the scheme of service, the passage of the Public Financial Management Act (Act 921) by parliament to regulate financial management of public sector and provide for accounting and audit of public funds, the Ministry of Finance also introduced the Inter-Governmental Fiscal Framework (IGFF) and Composite Budgeting to facilitate direct transfers to District Assemblies, National Local Economic Development Policy and Action Plan was developed and being implemented etc.
Touching on the role of the media in promoting decentralization and local governance in Ghana, the Minister who is also the member of parliament for Okere constituency in the Eastern said “for the government to succeed in achieving the benefit of decentralization in Ghana, the media’s role is crucial in providing accurate and timely information to the public about the benefits and challenges of decentralization, as well as to hold local government officials accountable. Citizens must also understand the duties and responsibilities of local governments and their role in promoting local governance. The media can assist us in deepening public engagement and sensitization. Specifically, the citizens must be aware of the services provided by the local assemblies. They must know the tolls, rates, and taxes required to pay to support service delivery at the local level, as well as the rules and regulations governing building and construction and land ownership etc that support local governance. This is why we are calling on the media at this hour to rally with us in ensuring effective and efficient local governance system for our country”.
Overall, the government’s commitment to deepening decentralization is a positive step towards promoting more inclusive and effective governance at the local level. By empowering local communities and promoting greater citizen participation, the government can help to drive sustainable development and improve the lives of all Ghanaians. It is hoped that the government will continue to prioritize decentralization efforts and work closely with local communities and key stakeholders to ensure their success in the years to come.