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Good Governance

 

THE MANAGEMENT SETTING

Important Organisations for the Development of Elmina
Although the District Assembly represents the Government of Ghana at the local level, also other levels of government are involved in the development of Elmina, the private sector as well as several Non Governmental and Community Based Organisations. The next chapter will describe the most important key players.

The Central Government
Most of the Ministries in Ghana have decentralised departments at local level. In theory the system mandates District Assemblies to establish departments to perform functions, which were previously being performed by the central government.

These decentralised departments are responsible to the Assembly through the District Co-ordinating Director however in reality still they report to their Centralised Ministries. These departments, which are eleven in number, have different units that perform various functions. The departments with their constituent units are:
  1. Education Youth and Sports
  2. Social Welfare and Community Development
  3. Works
  4. Physical Planning
  5.  Finance
  6. Natural Resource Conservation
  7. Central Administration
  8. Trade & industry
  9. Disaster Prevention
  10. Health
  11. Department of Agriculture
The most important Ministries (and if relevant their decentralised departments) who are involved in the development of Elmina are described below:

Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development
This Ministry is responsible for the implementation of the decentralisation programme in the country. It oversees all the activities of all District Assemblies in the country. It is responsible for the recruitment, training and posting of staff to the District Assemblies, the provision of sociai infrastructure facilities and provision of services to the people of the KEEA District and for that matter, the people of Elmina.

It is also responsible for the allocation of funds (District Assemblies’ Common Fund (DACF), Ceded Revenue, etc) to all districts as well supervision of the disbursements (inspection of accounting records) of all monies accruing to the Assemblies. However, the Local Government Service Bill that gives much power to the Ministry over the activities of all departments, agencies and units in the district is yet to be passed.

The Ministry in conjunction with donor agencies is implementing certain programmes in Elmina. These programmes among others include the Urban ill project, Village Infrastructure Project (VIP), European Union (EU) Micro Project, and Elmina Cultural Heritage Management Programme (ECHMP). Elmina is also one of the five selected cities in Ghana that is included in the Cities Alliance Initiative.

Department of Physical Planning
The Department of Physical Planning is made up of the Town & Country Planning and Parks and Gardens. The Town & Country department is responsible for the harmonious spatial development the formulation of overall goals and standards for the integration of social, economic and physical development of the district, and the design of plans and administration of controls to guide settlement growth and development.

Parks and Gardens is responsible for the beautification of all towns and villages, establishment of trees for avenues, establishment of parks for recreational purposes, and the cultivation of ornamental flowers, vegetables and fruits that are general horticultural practices. The department has been planting trees (flowers) at open places and along the major roads of Elmina.

Ministry of Tourism
The Ministry of Tourism is the arm of government responsible for formulation of policy and legal framework on tourism. It oversees the activities of Ghana Tourist Board (GTB). At the district level, the Ministry is yet to decentralise and for that matter has no office in Elmina. The activities of this Ministry is therefore not much felt in Elmina, except that any tourism related activity or programme in Elmina that the Assembly embarks upon, should be within the legal and policy framework of the Ministry.

Ghana Tourist Board (GTB)
GTB is set up by law to implement government policy on tourism. The activities of both GMMB and GTB are related to each other because of their direct link to tourism. In view of this they collaborate with one another in their activities. Both organisations are supposed to decentralise and perform their functions in the districts. However, they only have offices in the regional capitals.
 
Ministry of Agriculture
The District Directorate of Agriculture performs the functions of this Ministry at the district level and as such in Elmina. This directorate is made up of the previously existing departments of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA). These are the Agriculture Extension Services, Veterinary services, Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PPME), Fisheries, and Agricultural Engineering.

The Ministry is responsible for the formulation of policy and legal framework for agriculture practices (fishing and farming) and related issues. This is done in collaboration with District Assemblies, other government agencies, NGOs, Farmers and Fishermen Associations and other related groups. The functions and responsibilities of the directorate are:
  • To prepare regularly, update of districts agricultural development plans and annual agricultural work progress and budget;
  • Manage and co-ordinate the day to day activities of the District Agricultural Development Unit (DADU) including the analysis of participation and adoption rates and appropriate technologies of farmers; and,
  • Liase with all partners (farmers, educational and research institutions, NGO’s, etc.) on programmes related to the development of Agriculture in the district.

The directorate provides technical advice to fishermen in Elmina. !t also enforces laws and regulation on fishing with active support of the fishermen Association With the active support from the Apofohene and the executives of the Fishermen Association in Elmina, the Ministry is also undertaking efforts to ban the use of dynamite and small nets in fishing.

The directorate is supposed to undertake patrol duties on the sea to ensure that fishing in the sea is done according to laid down rules and regulations. They are also to ensure that fishing trawlers operate within the acceptable distance from the shores of Elmina.

However the town is still facing problems between local fishermen and foreign trawlers. This is because the activities outlined above have not been carried out as required of late due to lack of vessels and other equipment for patrol duties. The only patrol vessel broke down about three (3) years ago and has not been replaced.

Ministry of Environment and Science
The Ministry of Environment and Science is responsible for the formulation of policy and legal framework on environment and science. The agency responsible for its activities in the districts is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The responsibilities of the EPA are discussed later in this chapter.

The activities of both EPA and NADMO (now NERA) are closely related. EPA is mainly in education, enforcement of rules and regulation on the environment while NADMO is concerned with disaster prevention and management as well as rehabilitation of settlements affected by disasters and provision of relief items.

However, they are under different ministries. While EPA is under the Ministry of Environment and Science, NADMO is under the Ministry of the Interior. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Formally established on 30 December 1994, the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA. It is responsible for ensuring that, the activities of individuals, organisations and industrial concerns are carried out in such a manner that it will not degrade the environment.

The agency has been very active in enforcing government law banning sand winning along the beaches in Elmina. It has however not been very effective of late due to inadequate staffing as well as lack of logistics to carry out its activities. In addition there has not been any permanent staff posted to the KEEA District to effectively carry out the activities of the agency in Elmina, in particular and the district as a whole. Officers posted to Elmina are all National Service Personnel who leave after the service period.

The agency has just a handful of staff at the Regional Office in Cape Coast catering for all the twelve (12) districts in the Central Region. The National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) has been supporting to those of EPA. It has been educating people on activities that are likely to cause disasters like flooding and fire outbreaks and provide ways of avoiding them.

It has also been providing mattresses, food items and tents to fire rainstorm and flood victims in Elmina as well as assisting to rehabilitate houses of victims of disasters. Disaster Prevention Department This department has been educating the people of Elmina on disaster prevention. The department, as the name implies, is responsible for the prevention and management of natural disasters and includes the Fire Service Department, National Mobilisation Programme (NMP) and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO).

The function of the department is to ensure the prevention of disasters. It also involves the education of the communities. At the moments, the NPP Government has dissolved all the units under this department for reorganisation and restructuring, except the Fire Service. In addition, the name NADMO has been changed to National Emergency Relief Agency (NERA).

Ministry of Health
The District Directorate of Health Services (DDHS) represents this Ministry at the district. The directorate Is made up oi the District Health Service Unit (DHS) and the Environmental Health Division (DEHO) of the Ministry of Local Government. The DHS is into public health and clinical services, while the DEHO plans, manages and advises on all matters relating to environmental sanitation in Elmina. The DEHO assists in the formulation of environmental sanitation bylaws in Elmina.

It carries out such functions by inspecting all premises, collection and sanitary disposal of solid and liquid wastes, industrial and clinical wastes and other hazardous wastes, cleansing of thoroughfares, markets and other public places. It is also responsible for the control of pests and vectors of diseases, disposal of dead, control of rearing and straying of animals. It as well undertakes educational campaigns/public awareness on as well as monitoring of the observance of environmental standards in Elmina.

Ministry of Works and Housing
In the KEEA District, the works department is made up of the Public Works Department (PWD), the Department of Feeder Roads and the Department of Rural Housing The department is responsible for the implementation of government policies on good construction practices and effective maintenance at both central and local levels. The PWD is responsible for planning, design and supervision of all pub’ic works included in the approved development plan, and maintenance of government buildings.

Thedepartment has been undertaken repair works on government buildings in Elmina. The department of Rural Housing is responsible for acquisition and dissemination of appropriate technologies in the production and utilisation of improved local building materials and construction skills, undertaking of rehabilitation and maintenance of run down rural shelter.

They are also responsible for practical training for construction skills and transfer of technologies in soil erosion prevention and control The Assembly is supposed to provide funds for the construction of low cost houses but this has not been done. The department of Feeder Roads on the other hand is responsible for administration, planning, development and maintenance of feeder roads network as well as the rehabilitation and maintenance of feeder roads and to ensure accessibility and to enhance economic development.

The department undertakes repair works of roads in Elmina as well as supervision of road construction works by contractors in Elmina. The department of Feeder Roads has an officer located in Elmina but has its main offices located in Cape Coast where most of its programmes are formulated and executed. The Rural Housing component of the Department is yet to locate in the district their activities are mostly concentrated in Accra.

Local Government
As mentioned in earlier chapters, Elmina town is one of the four major settlements that form part of the KEEA District Assembly and has therefore no administrative structure of its own. For the purpose of clarity it is considered that Elmina is build up by the 8 electoral areas or constituencies that together form the Urban Council.

The Urban Council is answerable to the District Assembly and is divided into 18 Unit Committees, the lowest administrative government structure in Ghana. The executive functions of the Assembly are performed by the Executive Committee, which is chaired by the DCE and consists of not more than one-third of the total number of members of the Assembly, excluding the Presiding member.

The main functions of the Executive Committee are to co-ordinate plans of the subcommittees, urban councils and unit committees and submit these as comprehensive plans of action to the Assembly and consequently implement resolutions of the Assembly,  Central Administration of the Office of the District Assembly For administrative effectiveness, the District Chief Executive (DCE) is supported by a Secretariat or Central Administration referred to as the Office of the District Assembly, which is headed by a District Co-ordinating Director (DCD) who reports to the DCE and is in charge of the day-to-day administration of the Assembly.

The Central Administration of the office of the District Assembly is broadly composed of two main departments, the General Administration (GA) and the District Planning Co- ordinating Unit (DPCU). In addition, the Central Administration is supposed to maintain the specialised departments of Births and Deaths, Information Services Unit, and Statistical Services Unit.

The District Planning Co-ordinating Unit (DPCU) draws up and monitors economic and social development plans or programmes and budget of the Assembly. Unlike the Town and Country Planning that is basically concerned with physical development, this department is concerned with social and economic development. It also monitors the Assembly’s revenue generation. The District Assemblies work through a network of committees.

These are the Executive Committee and it’s mandatory subsidiary committees and the Public Relations and Complaints Committee. The five subsidiary committees are Development, Social Services Works, Finance and Administration and Justice and Security Assemblies are permitted to form other subcommittees to address their peculiar needs The KEEA has Tourism and Agriculture sub- committees in addition to the mandatory ones.

Finance Department of the District Assembly
The Finance Department is known as the Finance Office in the District. The finance
department is responsible for:
  • Keeping, rendering and publishing statements of public accounts, receipt and custody of all public and trust monies payable into the conso’idated fund;
  • Provision of secure custody for these monies and iegal and authorised disbursement of such funds;
  •  Provides financial and accounting services for government departments, training and posting of staff to all government departments as weii as preparation of financial report at specific period to the Assembly.

The District Finance Officer (DFO) is the head of this department. He works closely with the District Budget Officer who is responsible for the allocation of funds based on plans of the Assembly.The Accountant-General’s Department has staff located at the Castle to collect the entry fee paid by visitors. The revenue generated is therefore part of the Consolidated fund of the Government of Ghana and cannot be used for the development of the town or maintenance of the Castles.

Urban Councils
Elmina has an Urban Council. Urban Councils were created for all settlements with a population above 15,000 and which is cosmopolitan m character. An urban council consists of 20-30 members. These are constituted by not more than eight persons elected from among the members of the relevant District Assemb’y and not more than twelve representatives from unit committees in the area of authority of the Urban Council concerned elected annually and on rotational basis.

In addition each unit committee shall be represented on urban council by the end of rotation. Finally not more than ten persons ordinarily resident in the urban area are appointed by the DCE in consultation with the Presiding Member, traditional authorities and organised economic groupings in the urban areas.

Urban councils are supposed to establish Development and Services Committee, and Finance and Administrative committees. The development and services committee oversee the provision and maintenance of all services within the area of authority,provide leadership in the selection, planning and implementation of community participatory projects and mobilise the community for self- help work.

The Finance and Administrative committee sets revenue collection targets, organise, monitor and ensure the collection of revenues allocated or contracted to the Urban Council by the relevant District Assembly, or special rates approved for the Urban by the District Assembly, it also prepares budgets of revenue and expenditures of the urban or town council, including unit committees, and oversees the implementation of the budgets.

Urban Councils are chaired by chairmen who are elected from among the members of the council by a simple majority of members of the council. The Urban councils also have to prepare a strategic plan according to Act 462. This however has never happened. It is therefore the ECHMP that is making a first attempt. The Strategic plan for Elmina should then become input on the Districts overall development plan.

Unit Committees
Unit Committees form the base structure of the new Local Government System. A unit is normally a settlement or a group of settlements with a population of between 500 -1,000 in the rural areas, and a higher population (1,500) for the Urban Areas. Unit Committees being in close touch with the people, play the important roles of education, organisation of communal labour, revenue raising and ensuring environmental cleanliness, registration of births and deaths, implementation and monitoring of self-help projects, among others.

Elmina has seven (8) electoral areas that have been further sub-divided into units. An Assembly member in the District Assembly represents each electoral area. Each of the areas has several unit committees, which is made up of ten (10) elected members and five (5) appointed members. These seven electoral areas with their units form the Elmina Urban Council.

Unit Committees
Unit Committees form the base structure of the new Local Government System. A unit is normally a settlement or a group of settlements with a population of between 500 - 1,000 in the rural areas, and a higher population (1,500) for the Urban Areas. Unit Committees being in close touch with the people, play the important roles of education, organisation of communal labour, revenue raising and ensuring environmental cleanliness, registration of births and deaths, implementation and monitoring of self-help projects, among others.

Elmina has seven (8) electoral areas that have been further sub-divided into units. An Assembly member in the District Assembly represents each electoral area. Each of the areas has several unit committees, which is made up of ten (10) elected members and five (5) appointed members. These seven electoral areas with their units form the Elmina Urban Council.

Traditional Administration
The Chief or Omanhene (Edinahene) of Elmina heads the Traditional Council of the town, in which the chiefs of the different quarters of the town sit together with the Chief. In all, the chiefs of the 26 villages and hamlets, which together with the Omanhene of Elmina constitute the state or paramountcy, co-operate in the administration of the state.

A linguist and a group of Councillors (Besuonfo or Ampamfo) assist the Omanhene. Within the traditional state we find ten clans or families (Ebusua), organised along the principle of matrilineal descent. These clans are responsible for the preservation and maintenance of native institutions and communal obligations in the town. The clan heads, or Ebusua Mpanyinfo, occupy stool, which is the main symbol of a clan, because successive heads sat on the stool during their stewardship. The clans are Efinafo, Abradze, Nsona, Anona, Twidan, Abrutu, Akona, Adwenadze, Ebiradze, and Ntwea.

Other Government Organisations and / or Departments
The Ghana Museums and Monuments Boards (GMMB) is the legal custodian of Ghana’s cultural heritage. The Board comprises  Museums and the Monuments Division.

The Monuments Division of the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board is primarily responsible for the Conservation and Management of the country’s Immovable Cultural and National Heritage. It does this by conserving, restoring, protecting and managing the country’s monuments which are made up of Forts and Casties, traditional buildings- (World Heritage Properties), listed buildings and sites of historic and cultural significance.

Among others, GMMB is assigned to:
  • Setting up a comprehensive national register of cultural heritage and national Inventory of immovable cultural property.
  • Implementation of programmes on listed buildings
  • Determination of the state of deterioration and setting up of priority programmes for conservation, restoration and preservation.
In Elmina GMMB’s main responsibility is the protection, conservation and management of St. George’s Castle, Fort Coenraadsburg and the Dutch Cemetery. Although GMMB is responsible for the management and maintenance of these castles and guest are supposed to pay an entry fee when entering the Castles, the Accountant-General’s Department directly collects the revenue generated. GMMB receives Government subventions of approximately 4,000,000 cedis per month for the day-to-day running of the station (Centra! and Western Regions) i.e. administration, maintenance and utilities.

The Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC)
Regional Co-ordinating Councils are established in each region in Ghana. The Central Regional Co-ordinating Council, under which the KEEA District Assembly operates, as prescribed by Act 462, consists of:
  • The Regional Minister (RM), his two deputies (presently only the RM is at post);
  • The presiding Member of each District Assembly: in the region.
  • The District Chief Executive of each District Assembly:
  • Two chiefs from the Regional House of Chiefs elected by the chiefs at a meeting of the house
  • The heads of the decentralised ministries in the region as members without the right to vote. 
The functions of the RCC are to:
  • Monitor, co-ordinate and evaluate the performance of the District  Assembiles in the region.
  • Monitor the use of all monies allocated to the District Assemblies by any agency of the Central Government
  • Perform such other functions as may be assigned to it by or under any enactment.   
The Regional Minister is the Chairman of the RCC with the Regional Co-ordinating Director as the secretary. Appointed by the President of the Republic of Ghana, the’ Regional Minister represents the president in the region. He / she is responsible for the co-ordination and direction of the administrative machinery in the region; and exercise. such powers and perform such functions as may be delegated to him by the president.

The Private Sector
Due to the fact that Elmina has always been a trading and fishing town, the private sector is relatively well developed and is active players in the development of the town. Most of the occupations do know some kind of organisation. For example an important group like the Fisherman are not formerly organised but have a Chief Fisherman who can call all the fishermen at all times to discuss important issues.

The motorised boat owners have however organised themselves in an association (approximately 40 members). The fishmongers have also elected a queen who can call meetings at all times like the market women who are also organised along the lines of their occupational groups.

In December 2000 a group of business people decided to establish a business association that contains members of mainly bigger private sector companies (Hotels, Salt Mining Companies). Also in December an Advisory Board was set-up after the first Consultative meeting organised by the Netherlands Embassy. This group contains members of all major public, private and popular groups in Elmina and meets regularly to advise on project activities and disseminate information on the project to their members.

The Informal sector is becoming more and more important player. Small Kiosks, shops, street vendors but also tourist touts can be found on the streets of the city. This informal sector is a major contributor to the town’s economy but can also become a nuisance and a health hazard.

Especially along Liverpool Street and High Street, and several connecting streets, the number of informal and often unauthorised structures has become a nuisance. Kiosks are blocking the streets and walkways and contribute to the chaotic traffic situation in town. There is therefore an urgent need to review the present situation and come out with guidelines for structures for informal sector traders.’’



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