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GSAM Will Encourage Citizens To Demand Accountability - Minister   
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People at the grassroots would demand social accountability and transparency if they are well informed about the performance of their district assemblies, Central Regional Minister, Mr Aquinas Tawiah Quansah has noted.

This, he believed, would also go a long way to reduce the incidence of corrupt practices in the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in handling capital development projects for positive development in their localities.

Mr. Quansah said this at the Regional launch of a two-day workshop on Ghana’s Strengthening Accountability Mechanism Project (GSAM) in Cape Coast.

The workshop was on the theme: "Strengthen citizen’s oversight of capital development projects to improve local government transparency, accountability and performance”.

The five-year project, which is being sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is being implemented by a consortium of three strong locally based organizations, made up of Care International, IBIS Ghana and Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC).

Hundred districts in all the ten Regions of the country are benefitting from the project designed to help bridge the information and accountability gaps, especially at the local level with emphasis on the planning and execution of capital development projects.

It is also aimed at increasing the availability of accessible information on MMDAs capital development project performance as well as strengthening Civil Social Organizations (CSOs) to monitor MMDAs development projects.

Mr. Quansah said the GSAM Project would contribute significantly towards promoting accountable and responsive local governance as a result of increased participation and oversight on capital projects.

He applauded USAID for taking the initiative to be at the forefront of strengthening CSOs to monitor capital projects, adding that capital development projects were carried out by the tax payers' money and therefore must be judiciously handled.

He urged the stakeholders, especially the CSOs and the general public to take the project seriously for its objective to be achieved to ensure maximum and long-term benefits for all.

The Minister pledged the Regional coordinating council’s support for the initiative which would improve local transparency, accountability and performance in the decentralization process in the Region and the country at large.

Mr. Bishop Akolgo, Chief Executive Officer of ISODEC noted that despite the remarkable success Ghana has made in the decentralization process in recent years, citizens involvement in the transparency and accountability was far below expectation.

He stated that the GSAM project would help the country to score higher marks in local governance system and become one of the best performing countries in the World so far as decentralization and local governance were concerned.

Mr. Clement Nana Tandoh, GSAM project Director said the consortium has formed partnership with Regional Coordinating Councils, District Assemblies, District and Regional level political actors and the media for effective implementation of the project to sustain the success gained.
Source: GNA

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