Nandom (U/W), Aug. 15, GNA - Mr Thaddeus Arkum Aasoglenang, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Nandom, has commended the Catholic Church for organizing various town hall meetings in municipal and district assemblies throughout the country.
The purpose of the various gatherings, he noted, had been to interact with citizens on their constitutional responsibilities and how to effectively engage with duty-bearers using the bottom-up approach to promote development planning and programmes.
Mr Aasoglenang said this while addressing a similar meeting held at the St. Theresa’s Minor Basilica which was jointly organized by the Wa Diocese of the Catholic Church, Conrad Adenuah Stifftung and the Nandom District Assembly.
After three decades of decentralization, Ghana has been touted as one of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa which has democratized citizen participation in governance.
The DCE said this has been possible as a result of the creation of metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies and their sub-structures which have been entrusted in the hands of ordinary citizens.
As part of deepening local government administration and participation, the Nandom District like many assemblies, has created opportunities for citizen engagement through such community and town hall meetings.
Mr Aasoglenang said the rationale for such meetings was to bring local governance to the doorsteps of the people and also offer them the opportunity to contribute to the overall management of the district.
This, he said, was within the context of the broader policies of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s government.
He said the Directive Principles of State Policy of Ghana’s Constitution Ghana, article 35 (6d) enjoins leadership to make democracy a reality by decentralizing the machinery of government to the regions and districts.
It also states that opportunities should be made available for people to participate in decision making at every level in national life.
Mr Aasoglenang said citizen participation is constitutionally imperative and that popular participation is based on the belief that those who are affected by a decision have the right to participate in the process.
He called on the public to actively participate in getting their communities and the country developed.
Reverend Father John Kuupiel, the Coordinator for the Justice and Peace Commission, in the Upper West Region, said the call for active participation of citizens in development shows that development is viewed as communal and required the contribution of all.
Father Kuupiel said participation in local government ensures accountability, transparency and community development.
He expressed gratitude to the Nandom District Assembly for its efforts in promoting inclusive engagement with the people at the local level.