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Bolgatanga NCCE Launches Constitution Week

2006-05-09 12:25:08
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The Bolgatanga Municipal Planning Officer, Mr. Joseph Abugre has urged the Government to provide productive assets to people in poor communities and make the poor more productive to give meaning to its poverty reduction programme.

Mr Abugre was presenting a paper in Bolgatanga on the topic: "Local Participation in Governance and Social Auditing for Poverty Reduction," at the launch of this year's Constitutional Week celebration by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE).

He said there had been considerable public dissatisfaction with the management of poverty reduction programmes by successive regimes because some of those earlier attempts tended to favour the urban elite over the rural poor, or men at the expense of women.

"The perception of the poor about the possible diversion of public funds and corruption among public officials, and the distorted pace of the decentralisation process are retarding effective and sustainable service delivery."

He recommended the activation and strengthening of dormant structures under the District Assembly concept, institution of special programmes to support vulnerable groups, election rather than appointment of District Chief Executives to make them more accountable to the people, and the promotion of good governance as measures for improved local governance and poverty reduction.

Mr Abugre noted that good governance thrived on the processes of consultation, consensus building, collaboration and civic engagement, all of which constituted a mechanism for overcoming apathy, combating powerlessness, and enhancing access and control over resources. "Poverty reduction is an enormous challenge confronting the nation and, therefore, necessarily a focal point of government policy and programmes," he said, adding that considering that more than 40 percent of Ghana's population currently lived in poverty, any national development strategy must include an assault on poverty. The Bolgatanga Municipal Director of the NCCE, Mr Emmanuel Abesoke, said the Commission had identified local governance as a priority and had therefore directed its efforts at ensuring a more active participation of the citizenry in the affairs of their communities. He said the NCCE recognizes the Unit Committees, Town/Area Councils and other lower structures of the Assembly as the roots of democracy and intends to work more closely with those structures.

"We are in an era of representative democracy in which political power belongs to the people and must be exercised with their consent," he held.


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