The Chairman of the Council of State, Professor Adzei Bekoe, has stressed the need for co-operation between the Chieftaincy Institution and the District Assemblies to improve the livelihood of the rural people.
He explained that both institutions were involved in local governance and development and there was, therefore, the need for some kind of mechanisms to be instituted for them to work and co-operate with each other.
Professor Bekoe, was speaking at a two-day workshop in Accra on the theme, “Ghana @ 50 – Resolving the Duality in Governance: The future of Chieftaincy Institution”. He said this would require a review of the constitutional roles of the traditional authorities to go beyond taking care of customary matters to playing a central role in the decentralization system.
The workshop jointly organized by the Nana Nketsia IV Trust and the Centre for Indigenous knowledge and organizational Development (CIKOD), was sponsored by Konrad Adenaur Foundation (KAF), a German Political Organization in the country.
Professor Bekoe explained that the co-operation between the two institutions was necessary because the vast majority of Ghanaians continued to owe some forum allegiance to the traditional authorities, adding that it would be unwise to neglect such potential source of mobilization.
“It is absolutely important that the district assemblies get the co-operation of Chiefs and for the matter the entire traditional authority set-up, to enable them to be more effective,” he stressed.
Professor Bekoe said, 50 years after Independence, Ghana was still essentially a rural country with the majority of people believing in traditional values and systems.
The Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture, Mr. Sampson K. Boafo, said the Chieftaincy Institution was still relevant 50 years after independence, adding that it was for that the Government established a whole Ministry to facilitate its development.
He said in order that the Chiefs were re-empowered to perform some of their previous functions, his Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment was in consultation with the National House of Chiefs to establish a Royal College where issues on governance would be imparted to Chiefs to enable them to appreciate complexities in governance.
In a remark, the German Ambassador to Ghana, Mr. Peter Linder, said the German Government was pleased with the harmonious collaboration facilitated the development of the country and ensured that traditional values were documented.
He said the number of projects within the framework of German – Ghanaian development co-operation was an indication of his government’s support for the traditional authorities to enhance the harmonious relationship the traditional authority had with the modern democratic system.
The Resident Representative of KAF Mr. Klaus D. Loetzer, said his organization was proud to collaborate with the organizers of the workshop to evaluate the contribution of Ghana’s Traditional Leaders in governance and socio-economic development of the country.
Daily Graphic - 2nd March, 2007. Page 31