The maiden edition of the Town Hall Meetings, which aim at creating avenues for deepening democracy and offering accountability by government to its citizens at the district levels, has been launched in Accra.


The Town Hall meetings also offer opportunities for open interactions between government officials and the people.


In a speech delivered at the launch, the Minister for Information, Mr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, made known government’s decision to make governance accessible to her people through regular interactions such as the Town Hall meetings at the district levels.


Mr Abdul-Hamid said the interactions aimed to facilitate the free-flow of information and feedback which were the pillars that strengthened a democratic governance system.


Mr Abdui-Hamid condemned situations where politicians were accessible to citizens only during electioneering seasons to beg for their votes, adding "Governance is a daily process and not only at elections periods."


The Information Minister, therefore, called on Ghanaians to fully participate in the Town Hall meetings at the local level and articulate their views to foster development in their communities.


In her remarks, the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, charged the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), to make good use of their internally generated funds to develop the districts and not rely solely on the Common Funds, since the Common Funds were inadequate.


Hajia Mahama entreated the MMDAs to collaborate with the Ministry of Information to make the Town Hall meetings in all the 216 districts successful.


The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr Ishmael Ashitey, in a statement, urged non-governmental organizations and other development agencies to partner the Regional Co-ordinating Council for development.


For his part, the Member of Parliament for Tema East, Mr Titus Glover, stressed the need to make the restoration agenda of Tema a reality by improving on all areas of development in the Industrial City.


Mr Glover appealed to the Local Government Minister to correct the anomaly in the revenue collection procedures in Tema.


He explained that revenue collection in Tema had been awarded on contract to a private company, which took 30% of the total revenue generated.


This, according to the Member of Parliament, was unacceptable; as such a huge amount of money could be applied to the developmental needs of the area.


Source: ISD (Doris Sodjah)