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‘ C’nity leaders unaware of role of Zongo Ministry’

The Director of Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PPME) at the Ministry of Inner Cities and Zongo Development, Mohammed Alhassan, has stated that some leaders in the Zongo communities across country are oblivious of the work of the ministry.

He said the fact that the ministry was created to address the needs of the Inner Cities and Zongo communities did not mean that they should direct all their challenges to the ministry.

This, he said, had resulted in long queues often seen  in front of the minister’s office by members of the Zongo communities with the aim of lobbying for projects or discussing challenges confronting them.

 He  said this yesterday in Accra, at the third edition of a series of the  Zongo  and Inner Cities citizens’ participation in governance  which was organised by the  sector  ministry in partnership  with Star Ghana Foundation.

 The programme brought together about 50 participants drawn from the Greater Accra and Eastern regions who were trained on  social  accountability  tools, communication and also deliberated with  some  service providers present at the  programme.

 Mr Alhassan said, it was necessary for them to know where and whom they should direct their concerns to.

 He indicated that it was important for community leaders to understand basic planning and accountability tools that they would require to successfully run the affairs of their various communities.

 He said the ministry had observed that the state does everything for the communities to the extent that the leaders of these communities think they have nothing to offer their people.

 He stated that the ministry had also noticed that there was an information and knowledge gap that does not enable these community leaders to engage service providers and other government agencies in addressing their needs.

According to Mr Alhassan, most of these community leaders do not know that they could on their own organise development projects through raising of funds, adding that if they had knowledge about these matters, they would be able to engage the ministry better.

Turning attention to the programme, the  director of PPME said  they were  government  agencies  directly involved with the  communities  such as the  Public  Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), Ghana  Water Company Limited (GWCL),  staff of  Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and waste  management companies .

 He said that the programme had so far benefited about 150 community leaders, chiefs, Imams, assembly members and women leaders in Greater Accra Region.

A social engagement consultant, Kojo Anane, said for decentralisation to succeed, there should be a deliberate attempt to deal with social accountability.

 He said social accountability was underpinned on the principles  of transparency, participation and accountability adding that, to achieve it, one need to know what pertained at the local levels in order to bring about development and peace.

BY JEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU

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