Traders in dialogue with Municipalities
This programme is being organized in Kintampo, Wenchi, Nkoranza and Techiman Municipal Assemblies, all in the Brong Ahafo Region. The objective of the program is to create a platform for traders associations to engage leadership of the Assemblies: in this case management of the respective Municipal Assembly in attempt to address some of the challenges confronting traders and business within the Municipality.
The Brong-Ahafo Region is the food basket of Ghana and these Municipalities control food markets in the country. The nature of the market size attracts various services and traders from all over the country and beyond. Unfortunately these markets are challenged in many ways, in terms of infrastructure like stores, sheds and stalls, sanitation, congestion and various issues to be addressed by the Assemblies. The Assemblies are responsible for the management of these markets in accordance with the Local Government Act 642. The markets severally continue to be the main source of internally generated fund. The mechanism of management of these markets creates complicated relationship between the traders and the Assemblies.
The traders perceive the Assemblies as state institutions which are only interested in collection of taxes without fulfillment of responsibilities to ensure proper marketing environment for trading activities. The Assemblies also perceives traders as irresponsible citizens who are tax evaders but continue to seek the services of the Assemblies for their comfort.
The workshop melted this unfortunate and animosity between the two groups. During the workshop there was greater harmony emanating from the questions and answers session with Assembly Staff led by Municipal Coordinating Director including the Municipal Environmental Director, Municipal Budget Director, and Municipal Planning Officer. The traders as the functionaries agreed on continuous future exchange and common projects in order to improve the situations in their municipalities.
KAS will encourage this dialogue in future, always highlighting that each party involved has its responsibilities. Furthermore, a follow up - conference in the second half of the year should check and control in how far commitments have been implemented.