The Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), a civil society organisation (CSO), has engaged selected stakeholders to solicit their inputs to inform policy decisions on the reformation of governance structures at the local level.
The nationwide consultative workshop, held in Tamale, brought together representatives from CSOs, political parties, selected journalists among others, to discuss effective ways to advocate comprehensive policy direction on local government reforms.
It was organised in partnership with Norsaac and the CSO Coalition for Local Government Reforms, as part of CDD-Ghana’s United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Electoral support project.
Mr Paul Osei-Kuffour, Programmes Manager at CDD-Ghana, said the engagement was to seek participants’ views to trigger actions to revisit the discussions around the aborted proposals on election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).
“We want to understand stakeholders’ perspective, interest and positions to gain more insights and proposals that can feed into the ongoing discourse and policy decisions on Local government reforms”, he noted.
A survey conducted by CDD-Ghana on Local Government in Ghana on September 30, 2021, which was presented during the workshop found out that “at least seven in ten Ghanaians are in favour of the election of MMDCEs while the rest still want them to be appointed by the President”.
The survey also revealed that the support for the election of MMDCEs was generally high among the people irrespective of political party affiliations.
It further revealed that “Only 20 per cent of Ghanaians who want MMDCEs elected, prefer a partisan election format. The majority (71 per cent) opted for a non-partisan election format similar to the one used in electing local government councilors”.
Participants, therefore, called for the need for stakeholders to build consensus to broaden citizens’ understanding of how structures in local governance worked to help achieve the intended purpose.
They argued that the election of MMDCEs would promote accountability at the local government level and also ensure rapid development of these areas.
“The election of MMDCEs will stop the ‘winner takes all’ system we currently have in the country, but will promote inclusive governance and enhance effective utilization of resources at the local government level”, the participants are reported to have said.
They are reported to have reiterated the need for stakeholders to rekindle the discussions on the election of these public officials to help benefit the citizenry.