Prosper K. Kuorsoh, GNA
Wa, Nov. 8, GNA – Mr. Issahaku Tahiru Moomin, Wa Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) has stated that Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) stand the chance of better understanding the needs of their people if citizens participate effectively.
He noted that citizens should not just participate but also demand for accountability, saying only such would push leaders to strive harder to show their stewardship.
Mr. Moomin stated this in Wa during the Mid-Term Stakeholder Dialogue on the theme: “Enhancing Public Participation and Demand for Accountability in Local Governance in Ghana”.
The dialogue which is between MMDAs and the media was organised by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) with support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).
“For us to have effective decentralization and to achieve the objectives of local governance, citizens should and must have information regarding what their representatives are doing on their behalf”, the MCE noted.
“If we do not open up and provide them with the necessary information we will not be able to get inputs from them in order to run our activities in a manner that will reflect their needs and ensure they are satisfied with the development we are providing”, he added.
Mr. Philip Acquaye, an oficial of MFWA who gave a brief overview of the project and role of stakeholders stressed on the need for MMDAs to engage more with community members.
He said the media is expected to provide the platform through radio programming such that community members could phone in to voice their concerns and receive responses from their respective Assembly officials.
Mr. Acquaye said he participated in some radio programmes and the phone-ins from the citizens really showed that citizens were interested in knowing what their Assemblies were doing to bring development to them.
He encouraged officials from the Assembly to endeavour to make themselves available at the radio platforms to respond to the concerns from citizens.
He explained that the dialogue offered them the opportunity to discuss issues frankly to how the media can help facilitate interaction between the Assemblies and the community to enhance local governance.
The Assemblies raised crosscutting challenges including security, sanitation, haphazard development, over politicization of development projects, poor Internal Generated Funds (IGF), teenage pregnancies, poor road network and migration among others.
The media identified timing as the biggest challenge and appealed to officials from the Assemblies to always try to arrive at the station few minutes to the beginning of the programme so the programme could start at the exact time.