Akatsi North DCE Deepens Local Governance Conducts Chiefs Round Projects

The Akatsi North District Assembly has introduced a new programme, which purpose is to ensure that chiefs, opinion leaders, assembly members, religious leaders, technocrats and youth groups regularly tour the Assembly’s development projects.

Its thrust is to infuse a sense of trust among the various stakeholders and the Assembly, so as to deepen democratic practices at the local level.

The District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr. James Gunu, said the local governance system would be meaningless, unless the various stakeholders were effectively involved in the development process, to enable them appreciate and support the district assembly’s initiatives, aimed at promoting and bringing the needed development to the people.

Mr. Gunu observed that when stakeholders are involved at the planning, execution and monitoring stage, they would have the feeling of being part of the governance process.

He said this would eventually remove suspicion and feelings of neglect in the decision-making process that normally led to criticism and mistrust in the development efforts of the assemblies, which should not be the case.

The Akatsi North DCE said this when he led stakeholders of the Assembly, including chiefs, opinion leaders, assembly members, technocrats from the Assembly, religious leaders and youth groups, to inspect completed and ongoing development projects in 11 communities, to ensure that the stakeholders would appreciate how the Assembly’s resources were being used.

The inspection tour took the team to the Ave Senior High School at Ave-Dakpa, where work on a dining hall complex project, under the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund Secondary School Improvement Project, was underway; a Community-based Health Post (CHPS) compound at Avega; Feeder Road Reshaping Project at Kpegbadza;

Feeder Road Reshaping at Wukpe; Kindergarten (KG) block at Dzadzepe; Old-Afiadenyigba School borehole; construction and cladding of a 3-unit classroom block; Old Afiadenyigba 6-unit classroom block, 40 market stores project, a new Assembly complex project, and staff bungalows for workers of the Assembly, all at Ave-Dakpa.

Mr. Gunu disclosed that the Akatsi North District Assembly, as part of its strategy to actively involve the stakeholders in the activities of the Assembly, would regularly ensure that chiefs and other stakeholders visit the various project sites to see for themselves, how government resources were being used on behalf of the people, to promote accountability at the district level.

He explained that the decision to tour the projects formed part of the Akatsi North District Assembly’s efforts at deepening the democratic practices in the area, and also build trust and confidence in the people.

The motive was also to see to it that government resources were being used judiciously, noting that it was only when the people had trust in the local governance concept that they could willingly support the Assembly at all times.

Mr. Gunu stressed that it was not enough to organise programmes that would only enumerate development projects being undertaken by the assembly, without creating opportunities like the tour embarked upon by the Akatsi North District Assembly to ensure that the people practically appreciated such projects, which would not only become what he described as “talk shows”, but real manifestation .

The DCE continued that the regular touring of development projects embarked upon by the Assembly was carefully designed to create an opportunity for the stakeholders, who were part of the decision-making process, to equally provide them the opportunity for constructive criticisms about the development activities being carried out by the Assembly, which would help in ensuring rapid development in the district.

Mr. Gunu noted that the desire of the Assembly was to ensure that development projects were evenly spread in all the communities according to the development priorities of the people, adding that it was only when effective collaboration existed between the Assembly and the people that they would be able to appreciate development activities of the government.

Besides, there would be no need to tell them what the government was doing for them, but rather the people themselves would serve as ambassadors, as they would freely announce the government’s development activities to people who did not come from their communities.

He commended the chiefs, opinion leaders, pastors, imams, assembly members, youth groups and other stakeholders for the continuous assistance being offered the Assembly, which had made Akatsi North one of the fastest growing districts in the Volta Region.

He, therefore, urged them to continue to provide the needed advice, and constructively criticise the activities of the Assembly, to enable it to perform better.

The Headteacher of Agormor Basic Schools, Mr. Augustine Degbey, commended the Akatsi North District Assembly for the renovation of a six-unit classroom block, which was in a dilapidated state, and often led to the halt of lessons anytime the rains threatened. After the renovation work, however, classes were being run smoothly.

Mr. Degbey noted that Agormor had many communities located far apart, and that school children had to walk far distances to school. He added that most of them did not take meals before going to school, but when the School Feeding Programme was introduced by the Assembly, it put life in both pupils and teachers, because of the activeness of the pupils, which mirrored effective teaching and learning.

From Samuel Agbewode, Ave-Dakpa

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