General News of Wednesday, 21 March 2018
The Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG) has called for further discussion on the various reforms suggested for the country’s decentralization system.
This according to IDEG will ensure the effective and smooth operation of Ghana’s democratic governance and guarantee socio-economic development.
Currently, Ghana’s constitution does not allow for the participation of political parties in district level elections, a situation that will be revised in the new reform.
The aim of the new reform is to promote an effective multiparty-based local government.
But speaking at a round-table on local governance reforms and public service institutions on the topic; “Three decades of decentralized local governance in Ghana – Retrospect and prospects, Executive Director of IDEG, Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey said although the decentralization system has worked in terms of accountability and resource distribution, there are still gaps.
According to him, these gaps which include the recurring threat of violence during election and post-election periods and the country’s inability to implement a long-term developmental plan will all be addressed once the various reforms are put in place.
“For us at IDEG we feel that much as decentralization has worked, there are a lot of challenges that must be addressed. If we open up local governance to the various parties, some of these challenges will be addressed.
It will probably be the cure for the recurring violent we see because we will now shift parties from elections and get people from different parties to work together under a different president.
But this is something new, that is why we have various groups and organizations looking into it. But we still believe that if we go ahead with this reform we are going to improve our democratic system.
We will see more power given to the people and probably more equal distribution of resources at the local level.”
On his part, Deputy Minister for Local Government, O.B Amoah commended IDEG for the initiative and pledged to take some recommendations made into consideration.
“Most of the people here have been able to tell us the achievements that we have chalked so far and have also been able to identify the challenges we face.
Now it’s up to us to try and overcome them. Some can be readily addresses and some need more time, all this will be considered.
For all the legal issues that need to be addressed, even if the people of Ghana decide that Article 55- 3 should go away, we have to follow up with a lot of legal reforms and amendments of which some will even go to parliament.”
The round table discussion had personalities like Professor Kwamena Ahwoi who is a member of the Center for Democratic Transition Ghana, Dr. Esther Oduraa Ofei-Aboagye, chairperson of Star-Ghana, Mr. Mawuena Dotse, Managing Director of MAPLE Consult and Dr. Nana Ato Arthur, Head of the Local Government Service.