STMA to launch GOVCHAT for active citizen engagement

The Sekondi/Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly is to introduce GOVCHAT, a civic engagement platform to maintain closer contact with the citizenry and engage government officials and communities in real time.

The platform would also strengthen local governance, improve service delivery and more specifically put the people first as part of efforts to deepen open governance, accountability and transparency in the local governance process.

The Assembly, in preparation for the launch has developed a Memorandum of Understanding in that regard and would be built into Whatsapp, online and any mobile handset to allow the citizenry to connect to local governance.

Mr Anthony K. K. Sam, the MCE of the Assembly announced this during the Third Ordinary meeting of the Fourth session of the Seventh STMA sitting at youth Centre in Sekondi.

The Open Government Partnership of the STMA has also mooted five commitment area namely, transparency and accountability, civic participation and Fiscal transparency, public service delivery, access to information and Sanitation.

The Assembly according to him, sought to adopt smart governance tools in the second action plan to ensure more openness, transparency, participation, innovation and transformation governance with the vision of building sustainable structures.

The MCE announced that projects under construction included; 32 partitioned market sheds with external works at Diabene and Essikado, 40 similar Ones at Kojokrom and a fish smoking facility at Sekondi.

He said the Transport department was working and come January 2019, the assembly would introduce the Route Operating Permit to operators to deepen regulation and instil discipline in the sector within the Metropolis, "We have effectively engaged all transport operators for better understanding and cooperation".

The assembly may introduce the "Borla Taxi" concept for the collection of refuse in areas with poor road connections.

Already, such areas had been identified for tricycle collection to improve indiscriminate dumping within the metropolis.

He said the one household to one dust bin project was on-going after the distribution of more than 100 bins to institutions to improve on sanitation situation, the assembly was also working with the Global Communities to provide household places of convenience to 100 landlords and hoped that the project may be extended for other communities.

Touching on Education, he said the double track had successfully been implemented in the STMA with a significant improvement in BECE results between the period 2013 and 2018.

Mr Sam said plans were advanced for the revision of the assembly's by-laws to make them more effective and efficient, adding "Following a gazette, the first capacity building training has been done to equip them with skills and knowledge to effectively enforce the by-laws".

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