Simon Osei-Mensah (middle) speaking at the launch
THE Ashanti Region has been ranked first with an average score of 63 percent in the 2016 Ghana District League Table (DLT) that accesses actual progress in development and wellbeing in various districts across the country.
It beat the Greater Accra Region – that it shared honours with in the 2015 edition – with one percentage point after 21 out of 30 districts in the region (Ashanti) scored 60 percent and above.
Ambassador Francis Alex Tsegah, a senior Research Fellow at the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), speaking at the regional launch of the DLT in Kumasi yesterday, said the Ejura Sekyeredumase municipality topped the Ashanti Region with an average score of 72.4 percent.
According to him, the Afigya-Kwabre District, which came last in the region, had the lowest average score of 52.4 percent – showing a decline in terms of level of development.
The DLT, a simple ranking tool developed by UNICEF and CDD-Ghana, is used to track national progress in terms of delivering developmental projects across the country’s 216 districts.
It is aimed at drawing the attention of central government to weak areas of development in order to better target district support, aside ensuring social accountability.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, said the launching of the DLT would provide space for top Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the region to share their best practices.
The low-ranked ones, according to the minister, would be able to bring out the challenges they face and could seek support of government and development partners.
He stated that since the DLT was intended to track development and identify where targeted support is needed, it is important for government officials to be accountable to the people they serve.
“This is because without the people the district officers have no business working in the districts. Social accountability is an approach towards building government’s responsiveness that relies on civil engagement whereby ordinary citizens and other civil societies participate directly or indirectly in achieving accountability,” Mr. Osei-Mensah asserted.
In the minister’s view, decentralization has helped to transfer development and governance of local communities to district assemblies, making participation by ordinary citizens in the governing process practical and possible.
From Ernest Kofi Adu, Kumasi