The Chief of Amakom in the Ashanti region, Nana Adu Mensah Asare, says Ghana’s post-colonial constitution provides little for chiefs to do in ensuring effective governance at the local level.
He observed that the roles of chiefs are currently limited “to settling disputes, organizing communal labour, festivals and other ceremonies, which cannot bring cogent level of development in the country.”
He spoke on “the Role of Traditional Authority, Traditions and Culture in Nation Building” as part of the Ghana Month series on Luv Fm.
Nana Mensah Asare said relegating chiefs to the background has not been helpful in providing the necessary checks and balances in governance, especially at the district level.
He believes traditional leaders can effectively help drive development in local communities when they have the legal status to enforce certain good deeds.
“Chiefs must be given authority to summon people who flout laws in their communities. Chiefs can do much more than we currently do. We need more resources to bring development,” said Amakomhene.
Without any instituted source of funding, chiefs are handicapped in organizing developmental projects.
There have been several calls for a percentage of the District Assemblies Common Fund to be given to the chiefs to aid development of their jurisdictions.
This has however been futile.
Nana Amakomehene is worried several projects such as schools, hospitals and inner port started in the Ashanti region have been unduly delayed in completion.
“As Chiefs, we always appeal to political authority for development. For the abandoned infrastructure in the Ashanti region, countless interventions have been made but they’ve simply ignored us,” Nana Asare agitated.
He appealed to the government to make good promises of developments in the respective areas.
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