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Togolese delegation in Accra to study local govt system

BY: Zainabu Issah
The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Alhaji Collins Dauda, addressing the meeting in Accra. With him is the Minister of Territorial Administration, Decentralisation, and Local Authorities of Togo, Mr  Payadowa Boukpessi.

A five-member delegation from Togo is in Accra to understudy the country’s local government system.

Led by the Minister of Territorial Administration, Decentralisation and Local Authorities of Togo, Mr Payadowa Boukpessi, the delegation yesterday paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Alhaji Collins Dauda.

At present, Togo has no local government structure.

The last local-level election was held in Togo in 1987.

Since then, people have been appointed and not voted for, to represent their constituents at its national assembly.

The delegation, therefore, wants to learn from Ghana’s local governance system.

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Ready to learn

Mr Boukpessi said Togo as a neighbour to Ghana had in the past decades been a witness to the successful change of government in Ghana without any chaos.

He said following the close bilateral ties between the two countries and the close relations that citizens of both countries shared, there was the need for Togo to learn from Ghana in the areas of its electoral and local governance systems, to help keep the peace between them.

Mr Boukpessi expressed the hope that the knowledge that would be shared between the two parties would help to improve and strengthen the democratic systems in Togo.

We are one

For his part, Alhaji Dauda said Ghana and Togo were linked traditionally but divided by imaginary lines created by their colonial masters.

Therefore, he said, it should not be difficult for laws that were structured in Ghana to work in Togo and vice versa.

Explaining the decentralisation system in Ghana, Alhaji Dauda said the country had developed its local government system such that power was derived from the people.

He said at the lowest level, were the unit committees, the zonal councils and  the district assemblies, which operated as the legislative authority at the district level, then Parliament, which s located in the national capital.

“We think that developing the localities means developing the whole country and that is the driving force for always trying to improve upon the decentralisation process in the country,” he said.

Additionally, Alhaji Dauda said, as part of efforts to strengthen the local governance system, the government made some budgetary allocations to the district assemblies to bring development to the doorsteps of the citizenry.