Take ownership of govt policies for holistic devt … Minister urges MMDCEs

 The Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Develop­ment, Martin-Adjei Mensah Korsah, has called on Metropolitan, Munic­ipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) to take ownership of the many government policies to develop their spaces.

According to Mr Korsah, government had over the years introduced a myriad of policies to support the growing urbanisa­tion the country was witnessing and stakeholders must support the efforts to make urban centres resilient to human habitation.

Speaking at the opening session of the Ghana Urban Forum in Accra yesterday, the Techiman South MP said the importance of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to the holistic development of the country can­not be underestimated.

“As a ministry responsible for coordinating the implementation of urban development policies, we wish to entreat stakeholders to take ownership of policies focused on urban development to effect the needed change and transform our urban areas,” he said.

He said “As per Section 12 of the Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936), I wish to entreat Met­ropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to champion the urban development agenda within their jurisdiction. Urbanisation presents a lot of opportunities that has the potential to change the face of our development.”

Some of the policies he itemised include the Ghana Urban Manage­ment Pilot Programme, the Local Government Capacity Support Programme and its successor the Ghana Secondary Cities Support Programme and the Ghana Urban Mobility and Accessibility Project.

The rest are the Greater Accra Resilient Development Project and Participatory Slum Upgrading Project, the Tamale Urban Resilient Project, and the Sustainable Cities Project – Phase one.

The resultant effect of these in­terventions, he said, encompassed increased revenue generation, solid waste management, local economic development, improved mobility and accessibility, improved slum conditions, improved infrastructure and service delivery and ultimately improved living conditions.

He reiterated the government’s commitment to holistic urban development to address the issues affecting urban centres as a result of rural-urban migration.

The United Nations Resident Coordinator for Ghana, Dr Charles Abani, said the need to address urbanisation was important be­cause it encompassed everything including addressing crime.

As government seeks to address the challenges associated with urbanisation, Dr Abani said it must consider vulnerable groups in its policies because “the future is undeniably urban and we must prepare and not taken by surprise”.

A Senior Urban Specialist at World Bank Ghana, Catherine Lynch, on her part said Ghana must focus on resilience in the face of climate change, efficient in land management and close the service delivery gap between the poor and the rich.

The forum, on the theme “Nurturing roots, growing futures: Combining policies and partner­ships for urban resilience and transformation” is an inclusive platform that bring together multi-stakeholders to deliberate on important urban development and management issues and to share common vision for sustainable urban development.

It brought together stakehold­ers from ministries, departments, agencies, non-governmental organ­isations, civil society organisations, private sector, development part­ners and traditional authorities.

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