Decentralization For Development In Ghana: The Case Of Ajumako – Enyan – Essiam District (AEED)

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University of Ghana


Decentralization has been the most popular policy adopted by many advanced countries worldwide, as a modality for involving citizens in the grass root participation in the governance in their own states. This has been done effectively by creating the local government systems to pursue such decentralized policies and programs effectively and efficiently. In this sense, these local government systems are created by the various governments across the world to enhance broad participation of citizens in the process of governance, improve on the quality of lives of these citizens and to optimistically, reduce the fiscal burdens of these states, so as to achieve a maximum level of growth and development for the citizens. In Ghana, is no exception; to achieve these objectives, the Local Government Act 462, of 1993 and the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, have empowered the district assemblies in Ghana to be the sole agent that stands for the development of the citizens at the local level. The argument of whether or not decentralization has brought development remains a bone of contention which has largely affected the required growth and development which decentralization seeks to attain for the citizens in the various districts in Ghana. It is against this background that this research becomes vital and indispensable in assessing this phenomenon. This study therefore examined the extent to which decentralized policies and programs of governments have led to growth and developments in Ghana; citing the AjumakoEnyanEssiam as a case study. The study focused on mixed approach, in which both qualitative and quantitative methods were employed in analysis and examining the existing correlation between decentralization and growth and development in the AjumakoEnyanEssiam District. Thus a total of 180 questionnaires were administered alongside 10 top officials selected and interviewed from the district assembly. In effect, the data collected from this sample frame and interviews were analyzed using both the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and content analysis. The findings of the study are that; the district has not been able to achieve the desired level of growth and development in which decentralization seeks to attain for the grass root people despite a number of attempts to provide, increase and expand infrastructural facilities and human resource base of the district made by the D/As to accomplish such as task. This situation resulted from a number of setbacks to decentralized policies such as lack of funds, expertise, unnecessary government interference, and mismanagement of resources among others. On the other hand, certain number of recommendations have been suggested such as instituting effective Revenue Mobilization measures, organizing special training for the district assembly staff, granting reasonable amount of autonomy to the assemblies, allowing the established state institutions to work effectively among others, to help check and streamline such challenges. These efforts should be complimented by the good will and efforts of successive governments in Ghana so as to help reinforce and support the capacities of the District Assemblies in accomplishing the purpose for which they were created. However, it is clear from the findings that without decentralization, development issues at the grass roots would have been worse. This emanates from the fact that decentralization has led development to some extent; far below the target envisaged to be achieved by the system.


Thesis (MPhil)


Decentralization, Development, Ajumako, Ajumako Enyan Essiam District, Ghana, Participation, Decade, Policy, Resources, Mismanagement