IMCCoD launches “The Decentralist”, pledges to deepen decentralization

The Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee on Decentralization (IMCCoD) has launched a new magazine, “The Decentralist”, which is expected to be used as a medium to deepen decentralization across the length and breadth of the country.

The one hundred and thirty-six page maiden edition of “The Decentralist”, focuses on five thematic topics. The first is Revenue Mobilization in Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).

The second area of attention is on the “Unified Property Rate Platform”, and all the citizenry need to know about it and the third is whether or not the “Election of MMDCEs” should be a partisan or a non-partisan issue.

The fourth area of consideration is a question posed as follows: “Do you know your assembly member” and lastly, the concept of “Advancing Women Participation in Local Governance”.

The magazine was out doored at a press soiree organized by the IMCCoD in conjunction with the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development, the Local Government Service and Institute of Local Government Studies, on Friday 24 February 2023 at the forecourt of the secretariat.

Filling the gap

Addressing attendees of the press soiree ahead of the launch of “The Decentralist”, the executive secretary of the IMCCoD, Dennis Edward Miracles Aboagye, noted that the framers of the 1992 constitution of the Republic under the Directive Principles of State Policy in Article 35(6)(d) provided that the state should take appropriate measures to “make democracy a reality by decentralizing the administrative and financial machinery of government to the Regions and districts by affording all possible opportunities to the people to participate in decision-making at every level of national life and in government”.

To this end, the IMCCoD executive secretary noted that the rebirth of “The Decentralist” is aimed at filling the gaps and curing the information asymmetry which has existed between the IMCCoD, stakeholders and the general public” as far as decentralization is concerned.

“Our vision is to keep you fully informed about developments in the [decentralization] sector by featuring articles and stories from various partners across the decentralization and local government sector” Dennis Edward Miracles Aboagye said.

Championing decentralization

Minister for Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development, Dan Botwe (MP), in his remarks at the soiree observed that “Article 240(1) of the 1992 constitution provides that Ghana shall have a system of government and administration which shall, as far as practicable be decentralized”.

By virtue of this provision, Dan Botwe, indicated that one of government’s priorities is to re-focus on decentralization structures to “ensure that they function effectively and efficiently”.

“The ministry is poised to continue to champion the decentralization agenda not to only bring governance and development to the people of Ghana but to improve service delivery and ensure inclusive and sustainable development across the country through a coordinated and collaborative approach” Mr Botwe said.


Decentralisation reform in Ghana gained traction in the late 1980s when the current local government system was set up to give power back to the people and designated Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) as local government authorities responsible for the provision of basic services.

Subsequently, the 1992 Constitution and relevant Acts of Parliament were enacted to define the legislative framework for decentralization. In 2010, the first National Decentralisation Policy Framework (2010-2014) was formulated after stakeholder consultations were held nationwide.

The policy among other things, laid a solid foundation for increased devolution of powers and functional responsibilities to MMDAs which requires greater intersectoral and inter-service cooperation and collaboration both at the local and national levels.

For this reason, the Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee (IMCC) on Decentralisation, under the Chairmanship of the President, was established to give political direction and accelerate decentralization reform and coordinate the implementation of the overarching National Decentralisation Policy and National Decentralisation Action Plan.

The IMCCoD has been established under the Local Governance Act (936) 2016. Specifically, section 204 (1) of the Act provides that; “there is established by this Act, an Inter-Ministerial Co-ordinating Committee on Decentralisation, referred to in this Act as the Inter-Ministerial Co-ordinating Committee.

Sub-section two provides that “the Inter-Ministerial Co-ordinating Committee is the key national institutional mechanism for the inter-sectoral policy coordination of decentralization and for the decentralized local governance system”.

“The Inter-Ministerial Co-ordinating Committee” per sub-section three, “comprise: the President or a designated representative as chairperson, the Minister for Local Government, the Minister for Finance, the Minister for Education, the Minister for Health, and the Minister for Food and Agriculture.

The rest are “the Minister responsible for Gender, Children and Social Protection, the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, the Head of the Local Government Service, the Head of the Civil Service; and the Chairperson of the National Development Planning Commission”.

The Inter-Ministerial Co-ordinating Committee is responsible for the inter-sectoral policy coordination of decentralization and for the decentralized local governance system.

Since it was established, the IMCC has overseen significant reforms and facilitated the passage of important laws to accelerate decentralization reforms.

They include the Local Governance Act 2016, (Act 936) which saw the consolidation of the District Assembly Common Fund Act, 1993 (Act 455); the Local Government Act 1993, (Act 462) and the Local Government Service Act, 2003 (Act 656).

Others include the passage of the Departments of the District Assemblies (Commencement) Instrument LI 1961, the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act (925) which seeks to devolve Town and Country Planning and facilitate coordinated physical development at the local level, the passage of the Youth Authority Act (939), the Sport Authority Act (934), and the Public Financial Management Act (921)

The Passage of the Registration of the Births and Deaths Act(Act 1027) and attendant regulations and the passage of the Local Government (Urban, Zonal and Town Councils and Unit Committees) (Establishment) Instrument, 2010, L.I. 1967 are also among the laws that have been passed.


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