The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) and the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS), have launched an orientation and training programme for members of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs)in Accra.
It is part of efforts to build capacities of newly elected and appointed district assembly members (AMs); education and training is a key demand for effective job performance.
The roles that have been assigned to them in the Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936) requires that they demonstrate certain leadership qualities and traits, as well as mobilise the residents for participatory governance at the community level.
The programme is being organised by ILGS at the instance of the MLGRD in collaboration with the Inter-Ministerial Coordination Committee on Decentralization (IMCC), the Office of the Administrator of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF), Office of the Head of Local Government Service, and the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG).
The on-going series of two-day nationwide and training programme, which commenced on 5th August, and ends on 28th August, is expected to register 9,079 participants in 119 training centres across the country.
It focuses on exposing participants to their new and emerging leadership roles in democratic developmental local governance and the implications for local level development, and equipping them with the competences required to appreciate and be more responsive for creating an enabling environment for local economic development, industrialization, and inclusiveness.
Orientation modules and topics include: Localising ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’; The Assembly Member as a leader and change manager; Ethics, Transparency and Accountability in the Management of Assemblies; Overview of the Model Standing Orders; and District Assemblies and Public Health Emergency (COVID-19).
Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, speaking at the launch of the training programme in Accra, noted that AMs were part of the local government system; therefore, understanding the system and their role was one of the critical steps for the effective and efficient performance of their responsibilities.
She said MLGRD, over the years had done a lot to strengthen and deepen the decentralization process by facilitating the transfer of both technical and financial support for local development and improved service delivery.
Hajia Mahama, who officially launched the training programme, said, she was hopeful that at the end, good practices and lessons would be generated that would enhance the knowledge and skills of participants to enable them adopt appropriate competences for effective job performance.
Dr Nicholas Awortwi, Director of ILGS, also revealed that ILGS would begin a training programme called ‘Next Generation Local Leaders’ for about 1200 AMs across 260 MMDAs.
He said the training would identify at least four AMs from each MMDA and provide them with a tailor-made leadership and transformational skills with hands on support, adding “Next Generation Leaders will be the drivers of change towards inclusive local governance in the country”.
Mr Bismark Baisie Nkum, President of NALAG, said after the recent district assemblies’ election; NALAG observed that most of the newly elected members did not know what was expected of them, as such, this training programme would help sharpen them for national development.
He reiterated that the exercise was designed to make AMs better off, in terms knowledge, skills, and they could relate well with the Assemblies to secure the necessary development.
Madam Irene Naa Torshie Addo, the Administrator of DACF also assured the AMs of the Fund’s support in ensuring that they executed their mandate effectively at their electoral areas, saying; discussions were on-going, as such, by the end of the year DACF would announce a package.