The Local Government Service (LGS) and Institute of Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to build capacities of staff to ensure effective decentralisation.
Under the pact, the two have agreed to mutually collaborate on developing training modules, seminars, diploma courses, distance learning, staff exchanges and related programmes as part of urban governance that will take place in both Ghana and the Netherlands.
The MoU focuses on four main areas: integrated urban planning and development; preparation of infrastructure projects; environmental and climate change; and municipal finance and governance.
Dr. Nana Ato Arthur, the Head of Local Government Service, signed on behalf of the Service while Dr. Cornelis Wilhelmus – a Director at HIS, signed for his Institute at a brief ceremony in Rotterdam.
Briefing the media, Dr. Ato Arthur explained that Ghana’s rapid urbanisation and modernisation is of great development opportunity, and will therefore require an equitable and sustainable partnership.
Dr Ato Arthur said although Ghana has a location advantage within Africa – in terms of political stability, high Gross Domestic Product growth, as well as government’s innovative policies such as the One District One Factory, Planting for Food and Jobs – Accra is not one of the four key-Foreign Direct Investment flows destination in Africa.
“The four are Nairobi, Lagos, Johannesburg and Cairo, according to the State of African Cities Report 2018,” he said.
He noted that the Local Government Service seeks to be more innovative in supporting the country’s vision of Ghana beyond Aid, attaining the Sustainable Development Goals and African Union Agenda 2063.
He said in pursuance of those objectives and functions, the LGS has made efforts to ensure it becomes “a world-class, decentralised and client-oriented service”.
“Its mission is to support Local Government deliver value for money services through the mobilisation, harmonisation and utilisation of qualified human capacity and material resources, to promote local and national development,” he said.
He stated that through this three-year partnership the capacity of people will be built and enabled to develop resilient measures for environmental issues – including climate change that is having dire consequences on all sectors of the nation’s economy.
Dr. Wilhelmus said the university has human development and institutional capacity building that facilitates quality livelihoods for people as one of its topmost priorities.
He said the university is one of the topmost in the world and has an enviable track-record of developing capacity training for governments, non-governmental organisations, civil societies, and academia as well as training institutions in the selected areas.
The LGS is a Public Service Institution with the mandate to secure effective administrative and management of local government in the country – made up of the LGS, the Regional Coordinating Councils; Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies and their substructure.
It has the responsibility of providing the strategic direction for local government administration and management in Ghana, and collaborates with other national institutions to facilitate ongoing local government reforms to ensure administration of the country measures up to international best practices.
The LGS is also responsible for training and career development of local government institutions’ staff to ensure the delivery of value for money and assist local governments for improved local and national development.
Source: BestNewsGH.com/Patrick Paintsil