About 149 students graduated from the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS) in Accra on Saturday.
The students, comprising 114 males and 35 females, were awarded with Master of Arts in Local Government Administration and Organisation, Master of Science in Local Government Financial Management, Master of Science in Local Economic Development and Master of Science in Urban and Environment Science, Policy and Management.
The 4th Congregation was held on the theme: “20 years of Capacity Building for Decentralisation and Local Governance: The Imperatives of the Institute of Local Government Studies.”
In attendance were the Council Chairman of the Institute, Naba Moses Abaare Appiah; Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), Osei Bonsu Amoah; Professor Mrs Rita Akosua Dickson, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST); the substantive Director of the Institute, Dr Nicholas Awortwi and Professor Imoro Braimah, Provost, College of Humanities and Social Sciences (KNUST) among others.
Speaking on the theme, Dr Abdulai Darimani, acting Director of the Institute, said decentralisation and local governance was gradually emerging as the preferred choice for democratic consolidation in the country as they were instruments for building citizenship culture, participatory development and efficient service delivery at the local level.
He noted that the establishment of the Institute was to deliver on capacity building for improved decentralisation and local governance, adding that “our relevance in this endeavour today and the future cannot be over emphasised.”
Outlining some achievements of the institute, Dr Daramani indicated that the institute had over the years trained and imparted knowledge and skills on various issues to over 3,000 members of the local government sector of the economy.
Additionally, he indicated that the institute had developed a revenue mobilisation and management software for use by Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to enable them increase their internally generated funds.
He mentioned that the institute would in the 2019-2020 academic year introduce first degree programmes in Bachelor of Arts (BA) Community Development and Social Protection, BA Social Development and BA Public Sector Management and Administration to absorb the increasing number of students due to the government’s flagship programme, Free Senior High School (FSHS).
He called on the government to provide the institute with adequate infrastructure and funding in order to deliver on its mandate.
The Acting Director congratulated the students and urged them to uphold the core values of the institute.
Mr Amoah commended the students for striving to enhance the development of the country and assured the Council of the government’s readiness to support the institute to improve decentralisation and local government.
BY ALLIA NOSHIE