Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) have been called to prioritise the needs of marginalised groups and offer them the necessary assistance to enable them achieve their full potentials.

Mr Jonathan Azasoo, Deputy Director of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), said it is necessary to embolden them to come out openly with their ideas to support national development. He made the call at a day’s sensitisation workshop for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies’ Coordinating Directors, Presiding Members (PMs), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Community Based Organisations (CBSs) in Cape Coast.

The workshop was held to share, discuss and critique the new Local Governance Act (ACT 936, 2016) which has been revised to replace (Act 936,1993) as the legal framework for the operations of all assemblies in the country.
The programme was organised by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee (IMCC) and the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS).

Mr Azasoo urged the assemblies to acquaint themselves with the new Act which categorically spelt-out the functions of the various sub-bodies, committees and the entire assembly to enable them execute their duties effectively.
He said there is also the need to strengthen their communication and feedback mechanisms to facilitate public engagements and information for smooth implementation and execution of programmes and policies.

Mr Azasio called on all Ghanaians to familiarise themselves with the new Act to enable them demand greater transparency and accountability from assemblies in the discharge of their duties. The new Act, he said, required every resident in the district to have access on request to information held by a district assembly or department of the assembly subject to limitations imposed by the law.

Mr Isaac Owusu, Research Officer, ILGS, stressed the need for assemblies to strengthen their collaboration and co-operation with departments of the assemblies, non-decentralised departments, state-owned enterprises and public corporations operating in their jurisdiction.

He said this would ensure a coordinated approach to the development and management of the district, to avoid duplication to ensure convenient and cost effective implementation of programmes for bottom-up approach to development.
Mr Owusu also urged the assemblies to be resolute and enforce bye-laws enacted to promote environmental hygiene saying this is necessary to tackle insanitary conditions to prevent disease outbreaks.