Mr Akwasi Opong-Fosu
Tamale (N/R), March. 4, GNA – Mr Akwasi Oppong-Fosu, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, has said the creation of the chieftaincy institutions as an alternative channel of representation made their involvement in the assembly system mutually beneficial.
He said chiefs’ involvement in the local governance system was very important due to the roles they play and their influence in the local economic, social and political resources, which geared towards development.
Mr Oppong-Fosu said this on Monday when he addressed members of the Northern Region House of Chiefs in Tamale as part of his official visit to the region.
He said considerable interest had been shown in how chieftaincy institutions intersected with the local government system and that practicalities for the engagement and collaboration between the two parties were needed.
Mr Oppong-Fosu said the ministry as measures to strengthen the chieftaincy institutions conducted a countrywide decentralization review process and engaged with traditional authorities as a special interest group and as participants on the regional consultations.
He said the national review process resulted in the development of a new decentralization policy framework and a new National Action Plan, which under the framework, eight policy objectives stated to clarify and strengthen the roles and relationship between Non-State Actors and traditional authorities as well as civil society groups in local governance.
Mr Oppong-Fosu said, a number of appropriate policy measures were also identified including the development of a framework to clarify the roles and relationship of traditional authorities and civil society with district assemblies to ensure that their potentials were trapped in the district development.
The Nayiri, Na Bohagu Mahami Abdulai Sheriga, Overlord of the Mamprugu Traditional Area and President of the Northern Region House of Chiefs (NRHC) said the evolution of governance system in Ghana over the years had to some extent put the Chieftaincy Institution and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development on parallel tracts.
He said the two institutions had the appropriate structures on the ground to complement each other’s efforts and expressed the hope that the visit of the minister would further strengthen the collaboration in the area of human and institutional capacity building.
Na Sheriga said a major challenge facing Ghana was the quest for good governance to manage national resources for sustainable development.
He said it was increasingly clear that there was the need to integrate traditional authority into the main democratization process and that attempts to infuse tenets of modern framework of governance to include chiefs and other stakeholders of traditional governance were in the right direction.
He said issues of governance were at the core of the society and that investing resources to train chiefs was therefore a giant step to stabilize communities and strengthen governance and build community ties to promote peace and sustained development.
Mr Bede Ziedeng, Northern Regional Minister said government would continue to liaise with traditional authorities to discharge its duties appropriately to ensure the development of communities.
He said local authorities were important in the development of their communities and that government in its quest for development would collaborate with local and traditional authorities.
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