The retreat was organised by the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG), with the support of its funding partners — the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), OSIWA, OXFAM IBIS and Mondelez International.
It brought together all the stakeholders in local governance, public service and civil society actors, including the Minister of Regional Reorganisation and Development, Mr Dan Kweku Botwe; a Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr O.B. Amoah; the Head of the Public Services Commission (PSC), Mrs Bridget Katsriku; the Head of the Civil Service, Nana Kwesi Agyekum Dwamena; the Head of the Local Government Service, Dr Nana Ato Arthur, and many local government and public servants, including representatives from donor partners and civil society actors.
The deliberations were on the theme: “Democratic devolution strenthens developmental governance.”
The election of MMDCEs was a campaign issue in the 2016 election, with the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) promising in its 2016 manifesto to elect them.
Currently, the practice is that the President nominates MMDCEs for the 216 assemblies across the country.
At an orientation workshop for nominated MMDCEs on July 5, 2017, President Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo said that would be the last time MMDCEs were nominated and added that the election of the MMDCEs would also be on multi-party basis.
Hajia Mahama expressed the hope that Ghanaians would support the idea to elect chief executives.
Given the time frame to get the process running once the Cabinet’s approval had been obtained, she urged the partners to meet again to fine-tune a timetable.
Welcoming the participants, the Executive Director of IDEG, Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, said the retreat was to afford opportunities for deep reflection on the issues to be discussed, disengagement from normal routines to focus on discussions and for participants to fully engage one another for consensus building around reforming local governance.
He said fundamentally, Ghana’s multi-party democracy was flawed because it was exclusionary, in spite of provisions in Chapter Six of the 1992 Constitution on the Directive Principles of State Policy that enjoined the State to promote that all were integrated.
He said after 25 years of local governance, the time was up for long-lasting solutions to challenges in local governance that would give the transformational change in economic growth sought for.
Writer's email: firstname.lastname@example.org