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THE ROLE OF THE ASSEMBLY MEMBER IN GHANA’S DEVELOPMENT PROCESS: CASE STUDY OF THE DANGME WEST DISTRICT ASSEMBLY


Martin Akotey

Department of Development Studies, Ghana


ABSTRACT

Ghana’s decentralization processes which was embarked upon in the late 80s resulted in the creation of District, Municipal and Metropolitan assemblies as local government institutions charged with the mandate of providing development at the local level with the active participation of local residents. The role of the Assembly Member was viewed as key if the local government could deliver results in accordance with its mandate. This paper sought to find out the extent to which the local legislators had performed using naturalistic investigative methods and processes with a focus on the Dangme West District Assembly. While assembly members were generally found to be doing quite well especially in the area of representation, the study could not identify any significant development results for the communities that might be attributable to the activities of members. This is due to a number of factors including low responsiveness by district assembly officials; uncooperative attitude by some members of opposing political parties; unnecessary interference by some chiefs and lack of logistics among others. To enable the people feel some impact of the developmental activities of the district Assembly, the author makes a strong case for the district assembly staff to improve upon their level of responsiveness improved internally generated funds and allocative efficiency. While there is also the need for central government to make a significant increase in the amount of money transferred to local governments, one would also wish that the law enforcement agencies will deal appropriately with those who contravenes the law regarding the non partisan nature of Ghana’s local government system.


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