Decentralisation Reforms in Ghana: The Experiences of the Fifth and Sixth Governments of the Fourth Republic
What were the decentralisation reforms? What did they consist of? What were their origins? Who authorised them? What were their outcomes? What Impact have they had on the local governance and decentralisation landscape In Ghana?
The answer to the first question is that they were new initiatives and innovations designed to accelerate the pace of and improve upon decentralisation implementation in Ghana.
The answer to the second question is that they consisted of a National Decentralisation Policy Framework and a National Decentralisation Action Plan I (2010-2014) and II (2015-2019), an Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee on Decentralisation (IMCC), an expansion in the number of districts, a consolidated Local Governance Act, a re-branding of the Office of the Head of Local Government Service, the operationalisation of the Local Government Service and the introduction of a system of Inter-Service/Inter-Sectoral Collaboration and Cooperation. It also covered the enactment of National Development Planning (System) Regulations and a Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, the introduction of a Regional Integrated Budget System (RIBS) and blueprints for an Inter-Governmental Fiscal Framework (IGFF) and an Inter-Governmental Fiscal Transfer (IGFT) system.
The answer to the third question is that the reforms were traceable to the 2008 manifesto of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the party which won the Presidential and Parliamentary elections of 2008 and 2012 and therefore formed the Fifth and Sixth Governments of the Fourth Republic.
The answer to the fourth question is that the reforms were authorised by Presidents John Evans Atta Mills and John Dramani Mahama who successively were Presidents of the Fifth and Sixth Governments of the Fourth Republic.
The answer to the fifth question about outcomes is the new structures, procedures and processes for decentralisation implementation, the improved quality of human resources in the local government sector, and the more efficient systems of checks and balances in the sector.
The answer to the sixth question lies in the District Assemblies (MMDAs), the better service delivery by the Metropolitan, Municipal and of service delivery, the renewed interest in local governance by the citizenry and the claro Si rate reforms such as the elections of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDC Wand making the MMDAs partisan.
These and answers to other questions posed by the reforms are answered in this book by the two people who should know, namely, the authors Professor Kwamena Ahwoi and Dr Callistus Mahama.
Professor Kwamena Ahwoi is the longest-serving Minister of Local Government and Rural Development in Ghana (1988-2000). He was the Chairman of the High Level Strategic Task Force that produced the Decentralisation Policy Frameworks and Action Plans, He chaired the Legislative Review Task Force that resulted in the enactment of the Local Governance Act, 2016, Act 936 and was consultant to both the Ministry of Local Government and the IMCC during the period.
Dr. Callistus Mahama was a member of the High Level Strategic Task Force, a member of the Legislative Review Task Force, the Executive Coordinator of the IMCC and the Head of the Local Government Service during the period.
The two authors therefore write from a position of knowledge and experience and this is reflected in the contents of the book.