Building Capacity for Local Governance

The Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS) was established in 1999 and given legal backing by Act 647 of 2003 as a public organisation. The Institute exists to promote capacity building for district assemblies, local government functionaries and other stakeholders involved in local governance issues. The three principal activity areas of ILGS are: education and training, research and consultancy and information. Its two branches are located in Accra and Tamale to serve the southern and northern parts of the country respectively.

Ghana’s decentralization program began in 1988 with the sole aim of bringing governance closer to the people. In this regard, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) were created to serve as development authorities at the local level. MMDAs are responsible for the overall development of their jurisdictions.  MMDAs have over the years embarked on various programs and activities in order to deliver on their mandate. These include infrastructure development, investment promotion, tourism, environmental protection, sanitation among others. Thankfully, MMDAs are empowered to mobilise (fiscal) resources to help perform their functions effectively.

Local government in Ghana play a very crucial role in the administration and development of a local area. The 1992 Constitution of the republic of Ghana made provision for Decentralization and local government thereby creating framework for citizens’ participation in decision making at various levels.

Decentralization as a form of transfer of political and administrative authority is not a new concept. Since the 1990s, decentralization has gradually gained importance. A large number of African countries are currently involved in decentralization.

 

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