Tuesday, 28 May

Expand the policy space beyond the executive arm of gov't - Bagbin to Dev't partners

Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin

The Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Alban Sumana Bagbin has called on development partners and other stakeholders to extend their cooperation and engagements on policy and governance beyond the executive arm of government for accelerated impact. 

He said this at a National Agricultural Policy Dialogue organized by Policy Link and Market Systems Resilience Activity sponsored by USAID’s Feed the Future program on 16th April, 2024, at the Modern City, in Tamale. 

The dialogue was on the theme: “Strengthening decentralization for effective agricultural sector policy implementation and coordination”.

Speaking on behalf of the Speaker of Parliament was the MP for Wa East constituency, Dr. Godfred Seidu Jasaw, who doubles as the Deputy Ranking Member on the Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs Committee of Parliament.

Dr. Jasaw indicated that the structures and institutions of decentralized governance were well laid out in the 1992 constitution of Ghana with the appropriate supporting institutions and agencies also being established in the last three decades of Ghana’s enviable democratic journey. 

He opined that, the challenge, however, has been how to ensure an effective lateral and vertical coordination between the arms, structures, and institutions on one hand, the consistency, and the coherence in our policies on the other hand. 

Dr. Jasaw urged that, as a nation, we needed to come to this realization and quickly employ pragmatic actions to further decentralize the implementation of our policies and programs with the appropriate key performance indicators for effective monitoring. 

The MP stated that it was therefore paramount to extend the policy space to include the people’s representatives at every stage of activity implementation. 

He further reiterated that, Parliament wields the ‘Power of the Purse’ and it was easier to carry MPs along when they have sufficient information about a particular policy issue or/and its budget line. 

Dr. Jasaw assured them of Parliament’s readiness to support efforts at strengthening decentralisation of the agricultural sector and urged the District Assemblies to conscientiously embrace the integration of District Directorates of Agriculture for better impact on the livelihoods of the citizens.

The participants for this year’s National Agricultural Policy Dialogue included the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), members of parliamentary committees on Local Government and Rural Development, and Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs, Academics, Private Sector, media, Development Partners and other stakeholders. 

The dialogue, which touched on the essentials needed for a sustained decentralized agricultural policy implementation, also called on the need for a speedy and timely disbursement of resources for agricultural production activities taking into cognizance, the season patterns. 

They also called for the establishment of a dedicated fund such as the NHIA Fund and GETFUND for Food Security in the country. 

The participants called on parliament to review the District Assembles Common Fund (DACF) allocation formula to include food security under the basic needs component of the formula.

Dr. Jasaw, on behalf of the Speaker of Parliament commended those organizers of the Dialogue for their civil societal role in promoting food security through agriculture production in Ghana.


Source: Classfmonline.com