A Local Governance Expert and Lead Consultant of Popular Participation Roll out Workshops, Edem Senanu, has advocated for transparency, participation by citizens and systems control as core pillars of good governance and effective decentralization at the assemblies.
He noted that the country over the years has been scoring high marks in systems control, but low in accountability, transparency and participation, attributing it to the country’s failure to pass the right to information bill, and citizens inability to participate the governance process.
He therefore called on Metropolitan/Municipal and District Chiefs Executives (MMDAs), Presiding Members and Assembly Members to collaborate and involve citizens to participate in the development of their communities.
Mr. Edem Senanu, gave the advise at a day’s training workshop for selected MMDAs, Presiding members and Assembly members in the Brong Ahafo Region, organised by the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG).
He appealed to government to use the country’s Popular Participation Policy Framework to enhance knowledge and the potentials of citizens through their active involvement in the developmental process.
“The policy is to help Ghanaians know what the constitution says about participation and how to work with citizens. You cannot go to the Assembly and speak for people who you do not meet with. You have to regularly engage them and they see you as one who solves their problems. If they see that, they will also be encouraged to pay their taxes and levies because they are benefiting from what you do”, he advised.
On efficient investment opportunities, Mr. Senanu tasked MMDAs to be guided by their Popular Participation Policy Strategy and strictly adhere to all the mandatory actions that citizens can participate in fee fixing resolutions, budget reviews, town hall meetings among others, as stipulated in Article 35, 6 (d) of the constitution.
“If you do not allow citizens to participate and anything goes wrong, a citizen can take you to court and win because we were not represented when the budget was approved and money spent on unproductive projects”, he cautioned.
Mr. Senanu said constant citizen’s engagement will build trust and confidence within the governance system that will lead to increased participation in decision-making for sustainable development.
Participants were taken through governance systems, constitutionality of participation, mandatory actions, institutional strategy and action plan matrix.
Participants in a Citi News interview commended the organizers and said the training will improve their work and enhance development in the local communities.