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General News
Royal college to be established for chiefs soon 4/26/2007
Cape Coast, April 25, GNA- Mr Abraham Odoom, a Deputy Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, on Wednesday announced that a royal college would established in the country next year to build the capacities of chiefs'' in conflict prevention and resolution.

He said feasibility studies are ongoing and funds for the project is being sought from the Swiss government and other donors to ensure its early start.

Mr Odoom made the announcement during a two-day regional stake-holders seminar on the "interface between traditional authorities and management of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MMDAS) in the central region at Cape Coast.

The seminar, which was attended by chiefs, District Chief Executives and heads of departments would among others deliberate on the consultative process on the interface of the traditional authority system and local government structures.

Mr Odoom said the college, which would start at the Institute of local government in 2008, would have satellite campuses in the Northern, Volta, Central, Western, Ashanti and Greater Accra Regions. The venture would also help forge a national unity among chiefs, since the beneficiaries would be free to select any of the satellite campuses for their studies.

This would enable such "students" to learn and have the practical experience on the culture and traditions of the selected area. He expressed his regret that some cultures were dying and that in some cases chiefs did not even know about their traditions, values and virtues of the areas that they lord over.

Some, he said did not know their dress code or how to speak in public and stressed that the college would also seek to address some of these issues, adding "there are a lot of skeletons in the cupboard of the chieftaincy institution which needs to be cleaned".

Mr Odoom said a survey conducted, revealed that most investors were shying away from investing in Ghana due to the numerous chieftaincy and land disputes in the country and that the college would benefit the chiefs in addressing these issues as well as academically. Nana Ato Arthur, Central Regional Minister, in his address, underscored the important role chiefs'' play in the development of their various traditional areas.

He said they were not only custodians of the lands, but also rallying points for the mobilisation of people for development as well as addressing societal problems and needs.

Nana Arthur said chiefs were also recognised as the "embodiment of our cultural heritage" and are expected to guard and sustain traditional norms, values and principles.

He said it was imperative that every effort be made by all to help strengthen the chieftaincy institution to stand up to its task. He however expressed his regret that for sometime now, the noble institution had had its fair share of problems over ownership of land, which in most cases lead to violence.

Nana Arthur stressed that such problems did not only hinder development in the affected areas, but also tarnish the image of the institution.

The Minister said it was imperative for traditional authorities and local government to become active partners in development initiatives. He said there should also be an open door relationship between the local government structures and institutions of traditional authorities as well as regular exchange between associations of local government and traditional authorities.

Nana Kwamina Ansah IV, Eguafohene and president of the Central Regional House of Chiefs, spoke on the topic "the interface between traditional authorities and the decentralised local government systems perspective from chiefs".

He underscored the complementary role chiefs play in the development of their traditional areas.

He said traditional authorities and assemblies were mostly grassroots based and continue to collaborate at various levels to bring good governance to the communities.

Nana Ansah however said success in this area has not been fully achieved because the role of chiefs'' was not clearly defined in the decentralised system in the country.

He suggested the amendment of the 1992 constitution and the local government Act 1992 (Act 462) to ensure that chiefs continue to contribute meaningfully to national development.

He also expressed his dismay about the lack of harmony in some districts and the frequent conflicts between government officials, represented by the District Chief Executives and the chiefs, because their role in the decentralised system was not properly defined. He was also unhappy about the financial situation of chiefs, which he said did not give them the desired incentives that would make them capable of living decently to commensurate with their regal status. Nana Ansah coupled with that were serious administrative incapacity of the chiefs'' secretariats which has made the chieftaincy institutions to run on archaic administrative machinery.

Nana Ansah was happy with the appointment of a Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture to deepen and enhance the good relationship that already exists between the institution and the government. This he stressed has also created an effective and efficient administration for the institution to play a meaningful role as partners in the development of the nation.

Source:
GNA

 
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