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The Centre for Local Governance Advocacy (CLGA) in collaboration with the Local Government Network (LoGNet) with funding support from the Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee (IMCC) undertook a sensitization of some Traditional Authorities and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in all ten regions of Ghana on the new Local Governance Act 2016 (Act 936), the Revised Composite Budget Manual and Programme based Budgeting and the National Development Planning commission (NDPC) Revised Guidelines (2018-2022) for Medium-Term Development Plan (MTDP) Preparations.

The Deputy Executive Director of the Centre; Hon. Gladys Gillian Naadu Tetteh explained that, the sensitization programme had become necessary because new laws and policies governing Ghana’s local government administration have been enacted and initiated and it was therefore imperative to build upon the capacity of these key stakeholders by giving them the necessary exposure which will enable them to ask the right questions, demand accountability from duty bearers at the local level, and also to promote local democracy.

She added that the changes in the Local Governance Act 936 have serious ramifications which need every stakeholder’s attention in order for local development to be achieved. She entreated participants especially chiefs to take keen interest in their respective local governments by making themselves available to their Assemblies and taking up their responsibilities as people mandated by law to serve as counselors. Dr Eric Oduro Osae, a local government expert, explained the concept of local government and decentralization. The new Act; he said was an amalgamation of several laws on local government which hitherto were scattered in different books as separate laws. Participants were also exposed to the major changes that have occurred in the new law by way of repeals, amendments, and saves.

Chiefs and CSOs present were taken through their roles and what is required of them. He was emphatic on the need for traditional authorities to assert their roles in local governance in Ghana. He indicated that it was time to integrate traditional systems and practices into our contemporary governance.
Participants were also taken through the process of composite budget planning and preparation, its approval process and the roles to be played by stakeholders present. He indicated that these new laws and policies have been enacted to promote stakeholder involvement and empower ordinary citizens and non-state actors to demand accountability for local democracy.

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