A group photo of dignitaries at the function

A group photo of dignitaries at the function

The European Union (EU) Delegation in Ghana has signed an agreement with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) to support the Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs) in the country with 2.25 million Euros.

The Head of Delegation of the European Union in Ghana, Mr. Claude Maerton, said in July 2013 the Council of the European Union ? the highest political institution at the EU ? had reaffirmed the importance of decentralization process and its immense contribution to deepening democracy and citizenship empowerment in any given country.

The Ambassador continued that the EU had had long standing collaboration with the government of Ghana in the context of supporting Ghana?s decentralization reform process and in strengthening service delivery to ensure that local government becomes the engine of governance and local level development.

Mr. Claude Maerton said this at the launch of the EU Grants Support to Regional Coordinating Councils yesterday in Accra.

He further said decentralization and local governance are tools for multi-level system of governance and service delivery which sub-national authorities and central governments ought to consider as mutually dependent.

The Ambassador however, regretted the fact that the EU was unable to disburse its budget support in 2013 as a result of the macro-economic imbalances prevailing across the country.

He said following government?s readiness to prepare a policy statement to revise the 2014 budget to include factors to strengthen the decentralization reforms, the EU would likely respond accordingly.

The Local Government Minister, Mr. Akwasi Oppong-Fosu, outlined the functions of the Regional Coordinating Councils, including monitoring and evaluation of all district development interventions within the framework of national, spatial and sectoral policies, ensuring that District Medium Term Development Plans Initiatives are executed and provision of technical support to District Planning Coordinating Units (DPCUs) in execution of their functions.

The Minister expressed satisfaction that the ministry continues to take several steps to support the RCCs by way of provision of essential logistics to enhance their effective operations, adding that the ministry is also currently reviewing the role of the RCCs in the governance architecture to give them defined roles.

He assured the EU that the financial support was a welcome relief to strengthen the institutional capacities and internal structures of the regions in carrying out their functions to the collective benefit of the nation.

By Solomon Ofori

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