Ghana's new urban agenda launched in Accra

A report on the implementation of the new Urban Agenda in Ghana has been launched in Accra today as part of the commemoration of World Habitat Day, which is observed every first Monday of October every year.

The report was by the effort of the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development (MLGDRD), Ministry of Works and Housing (MWH), and the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC).

This year’s World Habitat Day is being observed under the theme: “Mind the Gap. Leave No One And No Place Behind”. In 1985, the United Nations designated World Habitat Day the first Monday of October every year.

The idea is to reflect on the state of our towns and cities and the basic right of all to adequate shelter. It is also intended to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat.

Speaking at the commemorative event, the Minister for MLGDRD Hon. Daniel Botwe in a statement read on his behalf by the Deputy Minister for MLGDRD, Hon. Osei Bonsu-Amoah, stated that urbanization presents some of the most significant opportunities in the world today with cities acting as centres for economic growth and development even though they also face demographic, environmental economic and social challenges.

He stated that according to the United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 which seeks to make cities inclusive, safe resilient and sustainable, identifies sustainable urbanization as one of the key priorities for global development.

This he said has made the adoption of the New Urban Agenda by the United Nations in 2016 has seen national and local governments around the world to embark on a transformative path towards making SDG 11 a reality.

The Minister indicated the MLGDRDs resolve to work to collaborate with the relevant Ministries, Department and Agencies to formulate policies and coordinate the implementation of programmmes and projects. It will also finalise and coordinate the implementation of the national Urban Policy objectives to guide the development of cities in Ghana.

In a speech read on behalf of the Minister for Works and Housing, Hon. Asenso Boakye, stressed the need to prioritise and address housing shortages for a large segment of our cities and also to ensure that cities are planned and built in a more sustainable and inclusive manner.

Adding that “the Ministry of housing is fully committed to being a part of the many activities outlined for the urban month of October which ultimately seeks to achieve a sustainable human settlement in ensuring that no one and place is left behind.

Present at the ceremony were representatives from the UN-Habitat and the Director General of the NDPC, Dr. Kwadwo Esseim Mensah-Abrampa who launched the report.




GPSNP II Training orientation workshop held

An orientation and sensitisation workshop has been held on the Ghana Productive Safety Net Project GPSNP 2 for the Bolga, Wa, and Tamale Zones.

Participants of the workshop were, Regional Ministers, Regional Economic Planning Officers, Regional Social Welfare and Community Development Directors, Regional Coordinating Directors, and District Chief Executive Officers.

The rest are District Coordinating Directors, District Planning Officers, District Social Welfare and Community Development Officers and Officers from the Business Advisory Centres (BACs) from the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

GPSNP 2 has come as a result of an additional $100 million support from the World Bank to the government of Ghana for the implementation of phase two of the Ghana Productive Safety Net Project (GPSNP) that would be implemented from 2022 to 2025 in 100 districts across the country following the successful implementation of the first phase of the project, which spanned from 2019 to 2022, in 80 districts.

Mr. Martin Adjei-Mensah Korsah, a Deputy Minister for Local Government, Decentralisation, and Rural Development speaking at the workshop indicated that the GPSNP, a social intervention initiative, is implemented together by the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development (MLGDRD) and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MGCSP) as part of measures of the government to improve the livelihoods of some vulnerable population

He stated that MLGDRD is leading the implementation of Labour-Intensive Public Works Programme (LIPW) and Productive Inclusion (PI) components of the project, whilst MGCSP focuses on Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) and Social Protection System Strengthening components.

Hon. Korsah stressed that the 100 beneficiary districts that will have the project implemented are urban areas, which were previously not included in phase one.


He noted that the objective of the second phase of GPSNP is to expand and enhance social safety nets that improve the incomes and productivity of the poor in rural and urban areas in Ghana.

The Minister explained beneficiary districts and communities on the project were selected using the latest available Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS) data from the Ghana Statistical Service.




Accountability project deepens Local Governance - DAN BOTWE

'The Ghana's Strengthening Accountability Mechanism (GSAM) activity has contributed immensely to promoting accountable governance, which has helped accelerate development at the local level.

The Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation, and Rural Development, Dan Botwe, who made this assertion, noted that the eight years of the implementation of GSAM through the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) had been beneficial to the country, especially the lessons learned to deepen democracy and good governance at the local level.

Mr Botwe, in a speech, read on his behalf at public accountability conference in Accra last Wednesday, said the GSAM had strengthened the capacity of civil society to advocate, monitor, and investigate efforts of primary actors, particularly metropolitan, municipal, district assemblies (MMDAs) to ensure sustainable, accountable and inclusive delivery of quality services to citizens.

The conference was part of the eighth-year activities of the USAID-supported Ghana

Strengthening GSAM activity designed to deepen and sustain responsive and accountable governance at the local level.

The rationale for GSAM activity was to address inadequate citizens' engagement in local governance processes, increase access to information on MMDAs development processes, deal with real or perceived corruption due to weak oversight and poor service delivery.

The interventions from GSAM, the minister said, had contributed to improving the responsiveness of MMDAs to citizens' demands and efficiency in the management and implementation of development projects in communities, working in close collaboration with key stakeholders. 

The rationale for GSAM activity Is to address inadequate citizens' engagement in local governance processes.


Commending USAID for the initiative, Mr Botwe said: "We are, therefore, interested in consolidating the gains made with regard to the management interventions that have generated positive results relating to accountability and transparency practices in the MMDAS."

The Deputy Chief of Party for GSAM, Samuel Boateng, said key lessons learnt from the project included the fact that there was a need for mixed communication methods to reach citizens with needed information.

He noted that prior to the GSAM activity, MMDAs relied mainly on assembly and unit committee members, traditional authorities and some opinion leaders to provide information to citizens on capital projects.

However, many citizens remained poorly informed about capital projects because these leaders mostly did not relay such information to citizens.

Other lessons were that the MMDAs had less control of centrally-funded projects. He explained that MMDAs had little control over projects that were implemented by the central government and as a result exercise weak oversight of these projects.

He said the impact of GSAM had been positive, revealing that 51 per cent of 880 community priority needs identified with GSAM support were integrated and budgeted for in the 2022-2025 Medium-Term Development Plans (MTDPs) in 50 districts.


The Chairperson for Star Ghana Foundation, Dr Esther Ofei Aboagye, said interventions such as the GSAM provided civil society organisations (CSOs) opportunities to initiate action, collect data, build capacities, engage district-level authorities, and back communities to exact accountability.

The mission director of USAID, Kimberly Rosen, said a USAID-commissioned impact evaluation of the GSAM activity revealed that citizen action with the support of local CSOs had improved consultation between citizens and their respective local governments on infrastructure development.


Source: Daily Graphic

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