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|Title: ||The role of District Assemblies in the promotion of economic dimensions of development at the local level|
|Authors: ||Afrane, Samuel Erasmus|
|Issue Date: ||1-Feb-2000|
|Series/Report no.: ||2851;|
|Abstract: ||The decentralization of political administration is a means to direct the development process peculiar to local areas. Although the developmental function of local governments has been recognized, real economic development has not practically been the prime focus of District Assemblies in Ghana. The roles played by District Assemblies (DAs) towards development are tuned more towards social targets to the neglect of economic sector. The few economic projects the DAs undertake are ineffective to local economic development (LED) and mainly provide revenue to the DAs. This has perpetuated widespread poverty among large number of people at the local level.
A growing concern to promote economic dimensions of development at local level is however, currently developing. This forms the basis of this research to unearth the roles that DAs ought to play in order to promote economic development at the local level. The research was done in Berekum, Asunafo and Tano Districts of Brong Ahafo Region based on their varied economic settings to facilitate generalization, which is useful for national policy formulation.
The aim of the research was to examine the economic development strategies of DAs and to explore the leadership and partnership roles that can be pursued by Assemblies to promote sustainable economic development at the local level. The research gathered input from policy makers at Ministries of Finance and Rural Development, policy makers and implementers at district level and policy beneficiaries. The analysis focused on the appropriateness of indicators to the task of LED and the performance of the indicators in the districts. This helped to determine the gap between what is required from the Assemblies and what is happening on the ground.
The research confirmed that development projects/programmes at district level are skewed towards the social sector. It was also realised that no proper appraisal of LED indicators was undertaken to facilitate effective prioritization of economic projects. Hence, the few economic projects undertaken yielded low rate of returns. The DAs commitment to economic development targets was found to be lacking. Aside this, the DAs and the citizenry had a narrow view of the economic development opportunities available to them. Finally, the absence of Economic Development Sub-committees contributed to the poor economic roles of DAs at the local level.
The research recommended that the DAs should act as facilitators, motivators and advocates of economic development so that undue dependency on it by the people would be broken. This would pave the way for real economic development to become sustainably entrenched at the local level in Ghana. In this regard, some of the practical recommendations are that the Assemblies should target problems of the masses like how to expand the market for agricultural output. Economic potentials also need to be packaged and marketed extensively. The private sector also requires massive support from the public sector through the establishment of multi-purpose “incubator workshops,” and sponsorship of training and individual start-up workshops. Beneficiaries could then start repayment of the credit assistance when they start working on their own.
Finally, the DAs should undertake education and conscientization among the people concerning economic opportunities open to them. In conclusion if the DAs could play a leadership and catalytic role in economic development, real LED would be achieved at the local level in Ghana.|
|Description: ||A Thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Development Policy and Planning, 2000|
|Appears in Collections:||College of Architecture and Planning|
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