Event Reports

Decentralisation and traditional authorities in Ghana

Workshop Report (16. - 18.08.2006)

Decentralisation as a political process to enhance democracy and development has been a key development strategy in Ghana since 1988. Its manifestation being the creation of Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies and currently operating in a total of 138 districts across the country have existed without the effective involvement of the traditional authorities (chiefs) who are rather the custodians of the lands. They are equally not adequately informed about the local governance process in the context of decentralisation.

This workshop came at the instance of the National House of Chiefs (NHCs), of Ghana in collaboration with the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture to promote learning of the decentralisation process in Ghana and to identify roles to be played by traditional authorities in the respective local government jurisdictions in the country. This was also to serve as platform for advocacy for policy to enable chiefs to play their meaningful role in local governance and development process in their localities.

The theme for the workshop was “The Role of Chiefs in Ghana’s Decentralisation and Development Process” and the participants were Chiefs who are members of the standing committee of the NHCs, representing the ten administrative regions of the country District Chief Executives (DCEs) representing their regions, Members of Parliament and Ministers of State. Three lectures on topics derived from the theme were delivered by Prof. J. R. A. Ayee, the Dean of the faculty of Social Science of the University of Ghana, Prof. Nabila, Head of Research, NHCs and Dr. Fritz Augustine Gokel, TIPCEE-Ghana.

The Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAF), one of the major Political Foundations in Germany supported the NHC to hold this workshop.

The workshop started on Wednesday 16th August 2006 with the arrival of participants, through to Thursday and departure on Friday. This report therefore presents key issues raised and the decisions during the workshop. It is divided into three main parts- Opening, technical and discussion sessions.