The role of the District Assembly in poverty Alleviation: a case study of Ahafo Ano North District

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Poverty, a situation generally defined as having insufficient resources to meet basic human needs, has been a concern of society especially the developing countries, over the years. The multiplicity in its definition has resulted in citing several reasons for its causes. However, two basic causes have been given as lack of basic social human needs such as food, clothing, housing, potable water and health services delivery, and lack of income to access one’s basic needs. Such situation, be it at the communal level or individual level, could be temporal or permanent. Whatever it is, its undesirability has resulted in the adoption of several strategies to combat it. It has been accepted that poverty can well be reduced if people who are experiencing it are involved in its solution. Participation in decision-making by the poor has been accepted as one of the effective strategies for the reduction of poverty. This concept, embedded in the decentralization process is the cornerstone of the District Assembly system in Ghana given cognisance to the fact that development is a shared responsibility between the people and the government. The District Assembly which is made up of the representatives of people in a particular locality is tasked with the responsibility of ensuring the development of its area of jurisdiction including poverty reduction. Based on the study carried out in the Ahafo Ano North district, it has been observed that in its effort to execute its mandate holistically, the Assembly has adopted two main strategies which are first, the provision of social services and infrastructure such as roads, school buildings, health facilities and secondly employment generation mainly through the administration of the Poverty Alleviation Fund. The study has established that poverty can effectively be reduced through individual empowerment to earn sustainable income. This can effectively be done through equipping the individual with employable skills. The study, in recommending a paradigm shift from the over concentration on the provision of social services and infrastructure to employment generation, proposes the restructuring of the Poverty Alleviation Fund into a Micro Credit Unit, independent of the Assembly to help enhance and improve on the objectives of setting up the Fund since it has the potential to reduce poverty in the rural areas. The study concludes that there is greater emphasis on the provision of social services and infrastructure, which has not positively impacted greatly on the poverty status of the people though the people expect the Assembly to pay greater attention to employment generation. The study notes with concern the gap between policy makers at the local level and the local people both in design and implementation of programmes towards poverty alleviation and therefore recommends further research into how to strengthen, accelerate and remove all the bottlenecks in the decentralization process since it can serve as the wheel to propel the development of the rural areas.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Geography & Rural Development, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Master of Arts(Geography & Rural Development)