SDGs – GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES SDGs REPORT

THE GHANAIAN Government has in partnership with the United Nations (UN) launched its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Indicator Baseline Report.

The 120-pages report compiled by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) and UN, sets the baseline for a selection of indicators that serves as the basis for monitoring and tracking of the progress towards the implementation and achievement of the SDGs and the corresponding Africa Union’s Agenda 2063 targets.

The aim of the SDGs and the Agenda 2063 is to eliminate poverty in all its forms and stimulate actions in areas of critical importance to humanity and the planet.

It is the first for the SDGs and following Ghana’s final Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) report in 2015.

The report provides the baseline status for a set of 56 SDGs indicators and its base year is 2016, looking at one indicator under each of the 17 goals.

Under Goal 1, which has an indicator on poverty alleviation, the report says the progress in poverty reduction across Ghana has not been even.

It says “The regions in the north (Upper West, Upper East and Northern) experienced a lower rate of decline compared to many of the regions in the south. These 3 regions also have the highest depth of poverty (i.e. how far the poor are below the poverty line.)”

Professor George Gyan Baffour, Minister for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, who launched the report on Thursday at the Conference Center in Accra, said Ghana’s approach towards achieving the SDGs is to involve all stakeholders in the implementation.

Ghana and 192 other member states of the UN, adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015 which has a set of 17 goals and 169 targets as the successor framework to the MDGs.

 

The 2030 Agenda, according to the report, seeks to complete the unfinished business of the MDGs, and to stimulate actions in areas of critical importance covering the three traditional dimensions of sustainable development – social, economic and environment.

Ghana made significant progress in achieving the MDGs, according to the observed trends in the report, but however suggests that, attaining the SDGs by 2030, requires a shift from the business as usual into a more robust country-level implementation of the goals.

The report points to the inter-connections between the SDGs and how actions directed towards achieving a target could contribute positively towards the achievement of one or several other targets.

Under Goal 6 of the SDGs which looks at Clean Water and Sanitation, the report indicates that a little over a quarter of the national population enjoy safely managed service, with about half of the population having access to basic service.

Urban households are better off than rural households, with over 80 percent enjoying basic services or better, as compared to 60 percent for rural areas.

Ghana, according to the report, is also performing greatly under Goal 7 which looks at Affordable and Clean Energy. It says the percentage of the population having access to electricity increased from 69.3 percent in 2012 to 83.1 percent in 2016, adding that the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) has more than doubled; but serious concerns remain with Goal 8 which is Decent Work and Economic Growth.

There are still concerns over youth unemployment, with their unemployment rates of 14.4 percent in 2015 becoming more than double the overall unemployment rate of 6.5 percent.

About 20 percent of children, according to the report, are found to be involved in child labour while 15 percent are engaged in hazardous forms of child labour, saying child labour is more pronounced in rural areas than urban areas and high among boys than girls.

Issues of disparities, according to the report, need to be addressed across board in Ghana to enable the full realization of the SDG targets.

But Acting Director-General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Dr. Grace Bediako, urged a higher level of collaboration among key stakeholders to ensure that Ghana achieves a multiplier effect on the SDGs implementation.

Source: Daily Guide

ASSEMBLY MEMBERS NEED TO BE REMUNERATED FOR EFFICIENT SERVICE DELIVERY

Section-16 of Local Government Act 936, charges members of a District Assembly (Assembly Members) to as appropriate maintain close contact with the electoral area of the District Assembly, consult the people of the electoral area on issues to be discussed in the District Assembly, collate their views, opinions, and proposals; present the views, opinions and proposals of the electorate to the District Assembly; attend meetings of the District Assembly and meetings of sub-committees of which that member of the District Assembly is a member; meet the electorate before each meeting of the District Assembly; report to the electorate the general decision of the District Assembly: and actions the member has taken to solve problems raised by residents in the electoral area; draw attention in general debate to national policies that are relevant to the subject under discussion; actively participate in the work of the sub-committees of the Executive Committee; bring to bear on any discussion in the District Assembly the benefit of the skill, profession, experience or specialized knowledge of the member; maintain frequent liaison with organised productive economic groupings and other persons in the district; and take part in communal and development activities in the district.

It is on this backdrop that the  National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG), is pressing for a monthly allowance structure for Assembly Members within the local governance setting who are both elected and appointed as people’s representative at the various assemblies to encourage efficient service delivery.

It is a known fact that Assembly Members do not receive monthly salary but only sitting allowances during assembly meetings, which in most cases are kept in arrears.

In a Press Statement released by the General Secretary on behalf of the Association, the Association is calling for a National dialogue on the need to remunerate the Assembly members as part of Government’s effort to increasing the number of Assembly members in the newly created Districts.

Below is a statement signed by NALAG’s General Secretary, Hon Kokro Amankwah;

WELFARE OF ASSEMBLY MEMBERS – THE BEST WAY TO IMPROVING LOCAL GOVERNANCE IN METROPOLITAN, MUNICIPAL, AND DISTRICT ASSEMBLIES (MMDAs) – NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES OF GHANA (NALAG)

In recent time, the public elections of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCE’s) has earned priceless space in our media landscape; but conspicuously missing in the conversation, is the welfare of Assembly members who constitute the fulcrum of a District Assembly, considering the powers granted and responsibilities bestowed on them by the constitution, and legislative framework governing local governance and decentralization in Ghana.

It is in this genuine intent that the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG) will like to throw light on the relevance of Assembly members in the decentralization process. And perhaps, to cure the lingering perception, that, the expansion of the electoral college to accommodate the general public in the elections of MMDCE’s through amendment of the national constitution; as well as the expansion of electoral areas is the immediate remedy and revolutionary measure to transform the activities in all the two hundred and fifty-four (254) Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDA’s) in Ghana to enhance accountability, transparency and good governance at the local level.

To be honest, it is unpatriotic to do partisanship about the neglect of the welfare of Assembly members, since nothing substantial has been done by present and successive governments, although motor bikes has been procured in previous and/or erstwhile administrations to facilitate the operations and functionality of Assembly members to and from their electoral areas.

NALAG wish to address this subject as a state and national oversight, other than a particular government’s neglect. Indeed, the flippant disregard about Assembly Members welfare with regards to payment of salaries is extremely worrying, especially when ‘equitable distribution of the nation’s resources’, which is a canon of good governance has lately rung loud melodious bells in our ears.

Referencing article 241(3) of the constitution of Ghana, and section 12(2) of the local governance act 936 of 2016, which enjoins District Assemblies with deliberative, legislative and executive powers and functions, NALAG respectfully but rhetorically wish to ask state actors how a district Assembly can effectively exercise and execute the aforementioned powers and functions without the Assembly members within their respective jurisdictions?
A thorough and careful study on the job description of key actors of decentralization will prove that nothing substantial can take effect at a District Assembly without its members, since the fundamental concept of the local governance process, is the transfer of political, administrative and financial power from central government to local citizens, with Assembly and unit committee members representing and serving the interest of the local citizens at the Assembly.

According to section-16 of Local Government Act 936, A member of a District Assembly shall as appropriate maintain close contact with the electoral area of the District Assembly, consult the people of the electoral area on issues to be discussed in the District Assembly, collate their views, opinions, and proposals; present the views, opinions and proposals of the electorate to the District Assembly; attend meetings of the District Assembly and meetings of sub-committees of which that member of the District Assembly is a member; meet the electorate before each meeting of the District Assembly; report to the electorate the general decision of the District Assembly: and actions the member has taken to solve problems raised by residents in the electoral area; draw attention in general debate to national policies that are relevant to the subject under discussion; actively participate in the work of the sub-committees of the Executive Committee; bring to bear on any discussion in the District Assembly the benefit of the skill, profession, experience or specialised knowledge of the member; maintain frequent liaison with organised productive economic groupings and other persons in the district; and take part in communal and development activities in the district.

All these responsibilities of Assembly Members while having due regard to the national interest and the interest of the people in the district, occupies all the time and energy of the members.

Even though Assembly members are entitled to sitting allowances after their meetings sometimes receiving the allowances after a meeting becomes a problem and this does not encourage members to attend meetings at the expense of the electorate.

It is on this backdrop that NALAG is advocating for the Assembly Members to be paid monthly allowance to encourage their full participation in the activities of the Assembly.

The issue of underdevelopment in most Assemblies is not the issue of lack of Assembly Members but rather the absence of good remuneration for them. Government should look at the wholesale creation of electoral areas since quantitative adjustment alone will not necessarily bring about desired results that Ghana is yearning for.
NALAG however, commends the Assembly Members for the hard work they do for the assembly and further wish those who will be contesting again in 2019 the best of luck.

SIGNED:
HON. KOKRO AMANKWAH
(GENERAL SECRETARY)

PROTECT THE RIGHTS AND WELFARE OF CHILDREN – DCE URGES

The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Asante Akim North, Mr Francis Oti Boateng has appealed to chiefs and community leaders to join calls demanding the individual protection and welfare of children in their respective communities.

According to him, protecting the rights of children and paying attention to their needs was a pre-requisite to safeguarding their future, growth and development.

Speaking at a multi-stakeholders’ forum at Agogo, Mr Boateng, said community leaders had the responsibility to ensure that children were properly brought up.

The forum, which was under the theme “end child marriage now, it takes us all”, was organized by World Vision Ghana (WVG) to dialogue on issues of early child marriages in the district and communities and develop strategies to curb the menace.

Mr Boateng commended WVG for its leadership role in advocacy to end early girl-child marriages in the district and said the Assembly would strengthen its partnership with it to ensure an end to the menace in the area.

He said the Assembly was already implementing initiatives that sought to bring pregnant girls back to school after delivery.

The objective is to ensure that all girls continued and finished their education.

Mr Joseph Kwogyenga, the Sekyere East Cluster Manager of WVG, said the forum was to seek consensus from all stakeholders to end early child marriages while promoting respect for the right of children in rural communities.

Source: Ghanadistricts.com

TECHIMAN SOUTH MUNICIPAL ASSEMBLY ACCOUNTS TO RESIDENTS

The Municipal Chief Executive of Techiman South (MCE) in the Brong Ahafo Region, John Kofi Donyina reiterated the assembly’s commitment to facilitate and put in place the needed environment and infrastructure to propel the development of the area.

Hon. Kofi Donyina gave the assurance in an address to participants at the assembly’s conference hall in Techiman at a Town Hall Meeting programme organized by the Ministry of Information (MOI) and the Information Services Department (ISD).

The programme, according to the ISD is a flagship initiative to deepen and ensure participatory democracy in accordance with Article 240 (2(e)) of the 1992 constitution.

He disclosed 10 companies had registered with the assembly to take advantage of government 1D1F flagship programme and appealed to residents to take advantage of the opportunity that the partnership will bring.

On revenue mobilization, he disclosed the assembly had contracted a private company to collect and collate data on properties to enable the assembly tax them for development.

“From our initial information gathered, the assembly is estimated to mobilize GHc 4 million annual which is more than our share of the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF). So is certainly the way to”, he emphasised.

The MCE lamented that, the assembly spends GHc 1,400.00 monthly on ration for the security agencies to maintain law and order in the area and called on sister assemblies to collaborate with his outfit boost the investment potential of the area.

The Regional Information Officer (RIO), Imoro T. Ayibani explained the forum was one of the tools used by his outfit to deepen and ensure transparency and participation in governance.

He therefore urged participants to de-politicize the exercise as a demonstration of their commitment to the nation’s development.

Source: Ghanadistricts.com

NALAG URGES MMDAs TO STAND AGAINST CORRUPTION

As local assemblies across the African continent observed the African Day of Decentralization and Local Development on August 10, the National Association of Local Authorities Ghana (NALAG) has urged Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to stand together as locals and destroy corruption before it destroys them.

The theme for the 2018 edition “Combatting corruption: a sustainable path for Africa’s transformation” as declared by the African Union (AU) is aimed at “Fighting corruption at the local level, a sustainable way for the transform Africa from its territories.”

The theme comes in time in a context where the local government of the continent are increasingly shaken by scandals of corruption, involving the elected officials of the first plan.

A statement signed by NALAG’s General Secretary, Hon Kokro Amankwah called on MMDAs to join in the fight against corruption at the local level.

“In other to have a sustainable way to transform Africa from within its territories, our Assemblies must join the fight against corruption within the various MMDAs.

“Our Districts must be accountable, engage citizen in participatory governance, adhere to rules and regulations, and conduct proper project management”, the statement said.

NALAG during the occasion underscored Local Governance corruption as a phenomenon across the world destroying the core of development.

The Association has therefore called on the 254 of its members (MMDAs) to “stand together as locals to destroy the hold of corruption before corruption destroys us.”

 

Below is the full statement;

A PRESS RELEASE BY THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES OF GHANA (NALAG) ON THE CELEBRATION OF AFRICAN DAY OF DECENRALISATION AND LOCAL DEVELOPMENT (TADDL)

10TH AUGUST, 2018

The Celebration of the Africa Day of Decentralisation and Local Development (JADDL) originates from the provision of Article 20 of the African Charter of values and principles of Decentralisation, Local Governance and Local Development adopted on June 27, 2014, requesting states parties to commemorate the African Day of Decentralisation and Local Development (TADDL) on 10th August every year to promote the values and principles of the charter on the basis of the African Union’s General Theme for the year. Thus in relation to the theme of the African union of 2018 entitled “Combatting Corruption; a sustainable path for African’s transformation”. The theme: “Fighting Corruption at the Local level, a sustainable way to transform Africa within its territories,” is dedicated to the celebration of this years’ African Day of Decentralisation and Local Development.

It is against this background that the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG) would like to wish all our members who are the 254 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) well as we celebrate this year’s Day. In other to have a sustainable way to transform Africa from within its territories, our Assemblies must join the fight against corruption within the various MMDAs – Our Districts must be accountable, engage citizen in participatory governance, adhere to rules and regulations, and conduct proper project management.

Local Government Corruption is a phenomenon across the world which destroys the core of development. Presently, MMDAs hang in the balance as another indicator of public confidence in Local governance becomes envisage in the face of mounting corruption which is affecting the sector. Ironically, the fight against corruption is prospectively far from the actual reality in the entire system of governance. In order to find a solution that could potentially limit corrupt practices in the local government, there are measures which are considered best practices and should form the core value of dealing with corrupt officials and/or practices. Best practices such as improved access to public service, information disclosure and social audit, creation of action groups, strengthening internal control systems, publication of annual audit report to the public as well as people’s right to information bills are very necessary to combating the growing levels of corruption in the local levels.

Most contracts and projects that are awarded in various Districts are rather shrouded in secrecy. This does not allow the public to perform their role of social audit into these projects and contracts. In order to facilitate accountability and transparency, citizens and civil society in local governance, ordinance or legal mechanisms can be implemented to make all District documents available to the public. Citizens may keep MMDAs in check by reviewing documents and information such as disclosure of contract and project details which will inure good social audit before, during and after specific projects. The disclosure should describe the project so that local communities and civil society organizations (CSOs) can monitor whether the project assistance reaches its intended beneficiaries.

Secondly, the demand for information from Local Authorities can be only predicated on the Right to Information Bill (RTI). It is for this essence that NALAG is passionately calling on Parliament to hasten the passage of the RTI which has been before the House since 2013. Passing the bill will encourage citizens within the Districts to exercise their rights to request for information to curb practices such as administrative silence, on relevant information required by citizens.

Thirdly, it is very necessary for MMDAs to strengthen internal control systems. This may include; ensuring accuracy of information, promoting operational efficiency of the MMDAs to avoid waste of resources and providing an important medium to undertake tasks and achieve satisfactory performance, compliance with laws and regulations for onward attainment of organizational objectives, as well as safeguarding of assets. Assets should be protected from misuse, theft or misappropriation.

Publication of annual reports is one essential aspect of fighting corruption. Local authorities (MMDAs) must adhere to the legal requirement of publishing annual reports for the citizens to get abreast with the District’s activities and expenditures.

Another major anti-corruption measure is conducting of project procurement–related audits (PPRAs). PPRAs will help to detect fraudulent and corrupt practices relating to procuring goods and services. PPRAs must be conducted to review project procurement, financial management, contract implementation, and project management practices and any potential procurement risk.

Corruption maims, destroys and cripples development. Corruptions at the local level disrupts the progress of the country from the grassroots and therefore it affects the very lives that we intend to change in our various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs). Let’s stand together as locals to destroy the hold of corruption before corruption destroys us.

SIGNED

HON. KOKRO AMANKWAH

GENERAL SECRETARY, NALAG

 

Source: Modern Ghana Online

AKUFO-ADDO NOMINATES 38 MDCES

President of the republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has accordance with Article 243(1) of the Constitution and section 20 (1) of the Local Governance Act, nominated thirty-eight (38) Municipal and District Chief Executives (MDCEs) to the newly created municipal and district Assemblies across the country.

This was disclosed in a statement signed and issued by Local Government Minister, Hon Hajia Alima Mahama.

The statement also directed the “respective Regional Ministers to liaise with the regional Electoral Commission to conduct the confirmation process of the nominated Chief Executives in their regions.”

The nominees needs the approval of two-thirds of their respective assemblies before they can assume office as MDCEs.

MMDA CAPITAL MDCE  
ASHANTI REGION      
Oforikrom Municipal Oforikrom Gloria Temmah Gambrah  
Kwadaso Municipal Kwadaso Richard Agyenim Boateng  
Old Tafo Municipal Old Tafo Fred Owusu Obeng  
Asokwa Municipal Asokwa Akwanuasah Gyimah  
Suame Municipal Suame Dr John Osei Bobie Boahin  
Juaben Municipal Juaben Kwadjo Ansah-Sem  
Ahafo Ano South West Dist Dwinyama/Adugyama Patrick Adusei  
Amansie South District Manso Adubia Nii Lartey Ollenu  
Atwima Nwabiagya North Dist Barekese Rebecca Yeboah  
Akrofuom District Akrofuom Maurice Jones Woode  
Adansi Asokwa District Adansi Asokwa Andrew Adu Boahene  
Obuasi East District Tutuka Faustina Amissah  
Afigya Kwabre North District Boamang Christian Adu-Poku  
       
BRONG AHAFO REGION      
Pru West District Prang Joshua Kweku Abonkra  
Berekum West District Jinijini Martin Obeng Adjei  
       
CENTRAL REGION      
Assin North District Assin Bereku Charles Ohene Andoh  
Gomoa East District Potsin Solomon Darko-Quarm  
       
EASTERN REGION      
Okere District Adukrom Daniel Kenneth  
Atiwa East District Anyinam Isaac Akomaning Asamoah  
Fanteakwa South District Osino Adjabeng Kwasi Ntori  
Asene Manso Akroso Manso Alex Incoom  
Abuakwa North Municipal Kukurantumi    
New Juaben North Mun Effiduase Isaac Apaw-Gyasi  
       
GREATER ACCRA      
Okaikwei North Municipal Abeka Boye Laryea  
Ablekuma North Municipal Darkuman Kokompe Kofi Ofori  
Ablekuma West Municipal Dansoman George Cyril Bray  
Ayawaso East Municipal Nima Hajia Salma M. Sani  
Ayawaso North Municipal Accra New Town Aminu Mohammed Zakari  
Ayawaso West Municipal Dzorwulu Sandra Owusu Amankwah  
Ga North Municipal Ofankor Getrude Ankrah  
Weija Gbawe Municipal Weija Patrick Kumor Kwesi Brako  
Tema West Municipal Tema Community 22 Adwoa Amoako  
Krowor Municipal Nungua Joshua Nii Bortey  
       
NORTH REGION      
Nanton District Nanton Abubakari Halhiramani  
Bunkprugu-Nakpanduri District Yunyoo Alhaji Abdul- Mujeed Duuti  
       
UPPER EAST      
Bolgatanga East District Zuarugu Emmanuel Abugre Abola  
Tempane District Tempane Paul Abugri Azumah  
       
WESTERN REGION      
Effia Kwesimintsim Mun Kwesimintsim Kojo Acquah

 

Source: Ghanadistricts.com

MINISTERS, OTHER APPOINTEES BANNED FROM FOREIGN TRAVELS

The president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has banned all ministers and their deputies from embarking on foreign travels.

Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) and all Heads of Government Agencies have also been affected by the ban.

The temporary suspension is to take immediate effect, a statement signed by Chief of Staff, Frema Osei-Opare stated.

It is unclear what prompted the decision as no reason was given.

The memo, which was signed by the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Opare said the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor-Botchwey is exempted from the directive.

GA WEST MUNICIPAL ASSEMBLY PICKS PRESIDING MEMBER

Mr Love Alistar, the Assembly Member for Amasaman Electoral Area has been elected as the Presiding Member (PM) for Ga West Municipal Assembly.

He polled 20 votes while his contestant, Mr Kwame Appiah, Assembly Member for Mayera had five votes whilst one vote was rejected.

The election was keen as the two contenders could not meet the two-thirds majority vote requirement until the fifth round of voting, where Mr Alistar emerged the victor.

Mr Michael Boamah, the Electoral Commissioner for Ga West in an interview with the Ghana News Agency lauded the assembly members for bringing the election of the PM to a close after the hectic five times voting, and expressed the hope that it would take long for Mr Alistar to be sworn into office.

Mr Clement Nii Lamptey Wilkinson, the Municipal Chief Executive for Ga West asked the assembly members to cooperate with the newly elected PM for the speedy development of the municipality.

Mr Elias K. Mensah, the Ga West Municipal Coordinating Director expressed happiness for the election of the PM, which he said would facilitate the work of the Assembly to bring progress for the area.

Source: Ghanadistricts.com

KWAHU EAST ASSEMBLY CONSTRUCTS BOREHOLES, TOILET FACILITIES FOR 2 TOWNS

The Kwahu East District Assembly is embarking on an all-important project to construct boreholes and sanitary facilities in Akropong and Nsuase communities in the district.

The project is aimed at providing easy access to safe and potable water, while improving hygiene in the most vulnerable rural communities and smaller towns across the District.

Addressing Assembly members at its ordinary meeting at Mpraeso, District Chief Executive (DCE) of the area, Emmanuel Ata Ofori explained that, the boreholes will also provide uninterrupted water supply to the to the 10 seater two separate Water Closet (WC) toilet facilities in the communities to properly maintain the facilities.

According to him, the move is partially aimed at ensuring that communities sustain their open defecation free status, and improve the management of liquid and solid wastes.

He urged Ghanaians to rally behind the Akufo-Addo government since it was still committed to fight against poor sanitation management in most parts of the country, adding that the recent waste management policies and initiatives were clear indications of its relentless fight against the menace.

Inauguration Of Atiwa East District Assembly Held

The newly created Atiwa East District Assembly has been inaugurated at Anyinam.
The district was carved out of the Atiwa District as one of the 38 newly created Municipal and District Assemblies in the country.
The Member of Parliament for Atiwa East, Mrs Abena Osei Asare, urged the people and the Assembly members to work hard to raise the district to a Municipal status.
She advised officials of the Assembly to use their resources judiciously to help improve the living standards of the people in the district.
Mrs Asare announced that a vocational school would soon be established in the district to offer meaningful training to the youth to acquire vocational skills.
The District Chief Executive for Atiwa Mr Kwabena Panin Nkansa urged the Assembly members to come out with new strategies in collaboration with the management of the Assembly to generate adequate revenue to compliment the efforts of the central government to finance all development projects in the communities.
The Chief of Adasawase and Acting Akyim Abuakwa Gyasehene, Osabarima Dr Kwame Tia II, urged management and staff of the assembly to avoid corruption and mismanagement of the resources of the Assembly and undertake meaningful development projects to enhance the living standards of the people.
He gave the assurance of the readiness of chiefs in the district to release land for development projects of the Assembly.
Source: modernghana.com

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