The National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG) and Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to promote local economic development.
CLFG is an organisation recognised by the Commonwealth Heads of Government as the designated body dealing with local government issues.
Under the MOU the district, municipal and metropolitan assemblies would be empowered to identify their economic potentials and build local manpower and skills to unearth them to generate employment, reduce poverty and enhance standards of living.
The 4.5 million pounds sterling project, being sponsored by the UK Department for International Development will run for three years.
Ten councils (assemblies) from Southern Africa, five from West Africa and five from Southern Asia, are to benefit from the project.
Alhaji Ibrahim Mohammed Sherif, General Secretary of NALAG, who made this known to Ghana News Agency in Accra, said the parties noted that they share a common commitment in promoting democratic values and good governance, strengthening local government capacity and exchange of experiences amongst local governments and practitioners.
“The MOU was signed to confirm the parties’ determination to contribute, within the limits of their capacities towards the development of a strengthened working relationship including closer cooperation and partnerships,” he said.
Alhaji Sherif said activities in the West African region would include programme framework, management and administration and financial matters.
The programme in West Africa will include local pilot projects designed to strengthen local government policy making at the national level and a series of regional activities designed as a platform for exchange of experience and good practice and to contribute to efforts to deepen local government’s inputs into regional policy making and planning.
He said the parties would maintain close links with development partners, the relevant departments in central government such as the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and other potential partners, primarily through a locally appointed Regional Programme Manager based at NALAG offices.
“The parties will further develop a strategy to ensure that the programme and the outcomes… are widely disseminated. This should seek to promote national impact and to identify ways in which the outcomes could influence national policy making for local government.”
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