Canadian Ambassador pledges commitment to support Local Government Ministry

Accra, Ms Heather Cameron, the Canadian Ambassador to Ghana, on Tuesday pledged Canada’s commitment to support the Government’s efforts at revenue mobilisation in the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies.

She said the approval for Canada’s support was announced in the early part of summer, which paved way for Canada to become the third partner on the initiative called the Support for Decentralisation Reforms (SfDR).

Ms Cameron said this when she paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development to, among other things, introduce Canada’s new Feminist International Assistance Policy to the Ministry.

She said: “We just want to confirm our partnership with the Government of Ghana with Germany, who will administer the grant on Canada’s behalf as well as the United State.”

Ms Cameron noted that the Ministry had a critical role to play in advancing gender equality in the country, adding that the responsibility of the quality delivery of service were at the local levels.

Hajia Alima Mahama, the sector Minister, said Ghana had a long standing relationship with Canada and welcomed the support for the implementation of the SfDR as it sought to assist 60 assemblies across the country, which would reposition them for effectiveness.

Hajia Mahama said the SfDR programme focuses on increasing the awareness on the opportunities and risks of decentralisation for the districts and developing expertise in financial management, service delivery and local development planning.

She identified the most important part of the programme as the revenue generation aspect, saying that the internally generated revenue was critical for the assemblies’ development.

The Minister said the district assemblies, through the SfDR programme, would best position themselves to generate revenue to support their activities since the mandatory revenue from the Common Fund was woefully inadequate for their activities.

She said there had been a discussion with Germany to bring on board experts in revenue generation to train the locals to improve their capacity to continue the programme even after its implementation.

Hajia Mahama confirmed that Canada had always been keen on gender issues and that the Feminist International Assistance Policy was in the right direction.

Source: Ghana News Agency