The Atiwa West District Assembly in the Eastern region of Ghana has held its maiden annual Town Hall Meeting at Kwabeng as part of measures to deepen local governance, transparency and accountability.

The Town Hall meeting was funded by Advocates for Community Alternatives (ACA), a non-profit-making organization, that has a long-standing partnership with the District Assembly.

The District Planning Officer and the Budget Officer took turns to explain the projects executed by the Assembly in 2023 vis-à-vis the revenues generated or accrued during the period.

The projects executed by the Assembly during the period under review were mainly in the areas of education, health, agriculture, economic empowerment and infrastructural development.

Mr. Paddy Amponsah Douglas, the DCE for the area, noted that through the meeting, citizens would have the chance to demand accountability from the local government authority.

“Pursuant to the Local Government Act, ACT 936 (2016), the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies are mandated to organize Town Hall meetings at least twice a year to afford the local people the opportunity to engage the District Assembly officials on the Assembly’s Public Financial Management and service delivery outcomes”, he stated.

Stakeholders’ engagement

The Director for Community-Driven Development (CDD) programs of ACA, Nana Ama Nketia-Quaidoo (Mrs), stated that her organization places much premium to stakeholders’ engagements such as the Town Hall meeting.

“This is because such engagements promote accountability, builds trust, saves cost and ensures a well-informed decision-making process.”

She therefore reminded the Assembly that it owed it as responsibility to make conscious effort to improve on existing structures that would allow the participation of the citizenry in every stage of development.

She disclosed that a recent Chiefs Council meeting organized by ACA at Asiakwa for chiefs in Fanteakwa South, Abuakwa South and Atiwa West districts revealed serious communication and participatory gaps between the assemblies and the chiefs and called for pragmatic measures to rectify this anomaly.

Some of the issues raised by the citizens focused mainly on health and sanitation, revenue mobilization, effectiveness of the National Health Insurance Scheme, drug peddling in the area and improvement in educational standards, among others.