With the name, the “University of Local Governance Studies”, it would be capable of awarding independent degrees in the quest to maintaining its identity, dedicated to local governance studies. Dr Nicholas Awortwi, the Director of the Institute, at the Fifth Congregation of the Institute in Accra on Saturday, said management was developing new training programmes and improving the capacity of staff to deliver. The Congregation was on the theme: “Advancing Democratic Developmental Local Governance in Ghana: The Role of Academia.” He said the Institute was in the process of sanitising its financial management and providing incentives to clients, collaborators and fellows that brought on board services, project contracts and proposals.
Dr Awortwi said the ILGS was working in partnership with the Office of Head of Local Government Service to launch the enhanced Scheme of Service Training Programme. This would introduce a more structured, coherent and career-oriented training to equip and sharpen the professional knowledge, skills and attitudes of the about 20,000 local government staff.
The school had developed 89 training modules to build capacity of 16 professional classes of the Local Government Studies such as administrators, human resource managers, environmental health and sanitation officers, budget and rating officers, development planners, engineers and information and communication technology officers, Dr Awortwi said. “… No doubt you are our assets, our ambassadors, the face of ILGS in the districts, municipalities and metropolises.”
“Go out there and apply some of your new knowledge, competences and skills. The local governance landscape in Ghana needs your innovations in revenue mobilisation, improved public administration and management, local economic transformation and improved service delivery,” he said. Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah, the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, said the current world was a knowledge-based one and advised the graduands to provide solutions to the myriad of problems confronting Ghana’s decentralisation system including human resource capital.
“Let your positive impacts be felt in local governance,” he said, and urged management and staff to work hard to create more congenial environment for learning. Dr Kodjo Esseim Mensah-Abrampa, the Director General of the National Development Planning Commission, advised the graduands not to be local bureaucrats, but managers, entrepreneurs, and facilitate decision making processes that gave local residents a pivotal role towards transformation.
He asked them not to show much concern towards others’ non-performance, but towards looking for innovative ways to solve problems. “Work hard to provide avenues for developing local skills and don’t wait for common funds to take an initiative,” he advised.
Out of the 145 students who graduated with Masters Degrees, 53 offered Master of Science (MSc) in Environmental Science, Policy and Management; 24 offered MSc Local Economic Development, 48 Master of Arts Local Government Administration and Organisation, and 20 MSc Local Government Financial Management.