Local Government Service signs pact with IHS of Erasmus University

Accra, The Local Government Service (LGS) and the Institute of Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to build capacities of staff to ensure effective decentralization.

Under the pact, the two have agreed to mutually collaborate on developing training modules, seminars, diploma courses, distance learning, staff exchanges and related programmes as part of urban governance that would take place in both Ghana and the Netherlands.

The MoU focuses on four main areas: integrated urban planning and development, preparation of infrastructure projects, environmental and climate change and municipal finance and governance.

Dr Nana Ato Arthur, the Head of Local Government Service, signed on behalf of the Service while Dr Cornelis Wilhelmus, a Director at HIS, signed for his Institute at a brief ceremony in Rotterdam.

Briefing the Ghana News Agency, Dr Ato Arthur explained that Ghana’s rapid urbanisation and modernisation was of great development opportunity and would, therefore, require equitable and sustainable partnership.

He said the urban population of Ghana was expected to reach 54 per cent by 2030 up from 36 per cent in 2016.

Dr Ato Arthur said although Ghana had a location advantage in Africa in terms of political stability, high Gross Domestic Product growth, as well as government’s innovative policies such as the One District One Factory, Planting for Food and Jobs, Accra was not one of the four-key Foreign Direct Investment flows destination in Africa.

The four are Nairobi, Lagos, Johannesburg and Cairo, according to the State of African Cities Report 2018, he said.

He noted that the Local Government Service sought to be more innovative to support the country’s vision of Ghana Beyond Aid, attaining the Sustainable Development Goals, African Union Agenda 2063.

He said in pursuance of the objectives and functions, the LGS had made efforts to ensure that it became a world-class, decentralised and client oriented service.

Its mission is to support Local Government to deliver value for money services through the mobilisation, harmonisation and utilisation of qualified human capacity and material resources to promote local and national development, he said.

He stated that through the three-year partnership the capacity of people would be built to be able to develop resilient measures to environmental issues including climate change that was having dire consequences on all the sectors of the nation’s economy.

Dr Wilhelmus said the University had human development and institutional capacity building that facilitated quality livelihoods of people as some of its topmost priority.

He said the University was one of the topmost universities in the world and had an enviable track record of developing capacity training for governments, non-governmental organisations, civil societies, and academia as well as training institutions in the selected areas.

The LGS is a Public Service Institution with the mandate to secure effective administrative and management of local government in the country, made up of the LGS, the Regional Co-ordinating Councils, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies and their substructure.

It has the responsibility for providing the strategic direction for local government administration and management in Ghana; and collaborates with other national institutions to facilitate ongoing local government reforms to ensure administration of the country measured up to international best practices.

The LGS is also responsible for the training and career development of the staff of local government institutions to ensure the delivery of value for money and assist local governments for improved local and national development.

Source: Ghana News Agency