Local Government and Decentralisation in Ghana


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Developments since the publication of the First Edition of this book in 2010 have compelled the revision and publication of this Second Edition.

In 2011, the Fifth Government of the Fourth Republic launched a new ‘National Decentralisation Policy Framework’ (NDPF 1) and an accompanying National Decentralisation Action Plan’ (NDAP 1). The Local Government Service was operationalised in the same year, resulting in the migration of over 30,000 civil servants from the Civil Service to the Local Government Service.

Prior to these, the Local Government Departments of District Assemblies) (Commencement) Instrument, 2009, L.1. 1961, had been enacted, allowing for the conversion of the de concentrated Departments at the district level into devolved Departments of the District Assemblies. The Local Government (Urban, Zonal and Town Councils and Unit Committees) (Establishment) Instrument, L.1. 1967, was enacted in 2010. The long-awaited Composite Budget was introduced in 2012.

With the expiry of the NDPF 1/NDAP I in 2014, a new NDPF 11/NDAP 11 was launched in 2015 for the period 2015-2019.

A new Local Government (Sub-Metropolitan District Councils of Metropolitan Assemblies (SMDCs)) (Establishment, Composition and Functions) Instrument, 2015. 11. 2223, was enacted to provide for uniform composition and functions for the SMDCs in all the six Metropolitan Assemblies.

A National Development Planning (System) Regulations, 2016, enacted to support the National Development Planning and Act, 1994, 148. A Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, 2016, Act 925, was passed to establish a Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority and to devolve the Department of Country Planning to the MMDAs.

The disparate laws on local government were consolidated into one Local Governance Act, 2016, Act 936. A new Sports Act 2016, Act 934 and a new decentralised National Youth Authority Act 939 were also enacted.

It is these reforms that the Second Edition of the book has sought to capture, in addition to some elaborations on some of the theoretical underpinnings of local government and decentralisation in Ghana. The sections of Acton Civil Society Organisations and Non-State Actors and Women in Local Governance have been improved. Some aspects of the proposals of the Constitutional Review Commission on local government and decentralisation have been used. Some textual changes have also been made.

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Weight 0.850 kg
Author Picture

Kwamena Ahwoi

Professor Kwamena Ahwoi is an Oxford University Rhodes Scholar and a University of Ghana Pioneer Tobacco Company (PTC) Scholar. He holds a Bachelors of Civil Law (BCL) and a Bachelor of Law (LL.B) degree respectively from the two Universities.

Professor Ahwoi was for twelve years Ghana's Minister of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) (1988-2000) and for one year in 1997 was simultaneously Minister responsible for Foreign Affairs. He lectured full-time at the Faculty of Law, University of Ghana from 1978 to 1993 and at the Schools of Public Service and Governance and of Law at the Ghana Institute of Management and Administration (GIMPA) from 2005 to 2016.

In 2000, Mr Ahwoi was moved form the Local Government Ministry to establish the Ministry o Planning, Regional Cooperation and Integration (MPRECI), with responsibility for the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Professor Ahwoi has variously been a member of the Board of Directors of the United Bank of Africa (UBA) Ghana Limited and subsequently its Chairman; Chairman of the Governing Council of the KAAF University, a private engineering-focused University; member of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC); and Chairman of the Governing Council of the University of Ghana.

He was a member of the 2016 Presidential Committee on Emoluments appointed by President John Dramani Mahama under Article 71 of the Constitution to make recommendations for the determination of the emoluments of the leading members of the Executive, Legislature and Judicial Arms of government as well as those of the independent institutions of the Constitution.

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