Poverty Alleviation Strategies of District Assemblies: a case study of the Sekyere East District Assembly in the Ashanti Region

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Poverty has become a major global challenge. The 2007 Human Development Report (HDR) from the United Nations Development Programme has noted that, ‘there are still around one billion people living at the margins of survival on less than US$1 a day with 2.6 billion people living on less than US$2 a day’ around the globe. These increasing trends in poverty around the world require the implementation of policies and programmes to alleviate poverty and improve the living standards of the poor. The issue of poverty alleviation is central to the decentralisation programme. One of the objectives of the decentralisation programme is to ensure that people living in the rural areas have access to basic services and infrastructure. A number of poverty alleviation strategies were introduced in Ghana since the 1990s and various policies and programmes have been implemented towards poverty alleviation by District Assemblies with the promulgation of PNDC Law 207. The Sekyere East District is one of the poorest Districts in the country with a high rate of unemployment. This is an indication that measures should be put in place to check poverty level in the District. The objective of this study was to assess the various poverty alleviation strategies of the Sekyere East District Assembly in a community-based sample of 200 respondents who were randomly selected from five communities in the district. Questionnaires were administered to respondents and interviews were also conducted where necessary for data collection. The data gathered from the field was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) for windows. Evidences from the study have established the commitment of the District Assembly to provide the rural poor with social amenities and infrastructure, assist farmers with farming inputs and credit facilities, employ more people under the youth employment programme among others. However, this not withstanding, it was found out that poverty in the District is still high. This requires the Assembly to channel a lot of its resources to enhance and improve the livelihoods of the poor in the District.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Geography and Rural Development, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts.