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Hon. Helen Ntoso
Hon. Francis Ganyaglo

With the exception of the south, most part of the region  that is north from Ho, was part of the German colony of Togoland. The south most part, which was first colonized by the Danes and later on transferred to the British, was administered as part of the Gold Coast, now Ghana.

After the defeat of the Germans in World War I, the German colony of Togoland was partitioned. One portion was placed under the protectorate of Britain and became known as the British Togo. The other, under French protectorate, became the French Togo, now the Republic of Togo.

Both Togo under the British protectorate and Togo under the French protectorate were under the umbrella and supervision of the Trusteeship Council of the League of Nations, now the United Nations.

While Togoland under French Trusteeship was administered by its own Governor appointed by the French, the British protectorate of Togoland, later to be known as the Trans-Volta Togo (TVT), and then as the Volta Region (VR), was administered by the Governor of the Gold Coast who reported on the British protectorate directly to the Trusteeship Council of the League of Nations, now the United Nation (U.N). In 1954, the U.N sent a Visiting Team to the British Togoland. This team recommended a plebiscite to be held in 1956 to decide on the wishes of the people on the issues of whether the Trust Territory should be integrated into, or secede from, the Gold Coast.

The result of this plebiscite was not decisive. However, when it became clear that the Gold Coast was to become independent in 1957, the British Government formally informed the Trusteeship Council that it would not be possible for Britain to administer the British Protectorate, then the Trans-Volta Togoland (TVT) separately, after the Gold Coast became independent. The British Government therefore recommended that the Trans Volta Togoland be integrated into the Gold Coast.

This suggestion did not go down well with a portion of the people, particularly the Ewe speaking, who opted in the plebiscite to join the French Togo, which then attained the status of an “autonomous republic.

After independence, the Parliament of Ghana adopted a resolution to merge and integrate the Trans Volta Togo with Ghana, under the name Volta Region. The structure of the decentralized administrative system is made up of the Regional Coordinating Council and the District Assembly.

The Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) comprises the Regional Minister who is the overall political head of the region, his Deputy, representatives of the Regional House of Chiefs, the District Chief Executives of the region, the Presiding Members of the 18 Municipal and District Assemblies and representatives of the various decentralized Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAS).

The Regional Co-ordinating Council is headed by the Regional Coordinating Director who act as the Secretary to the RCC and has the overall responsibility for the local government administration of the region.

The District Assembly is to “exercise power and administrative authority in the District, provide guidance, give direction to, and supervise all other administrative authorities in the district”. The Municipal or District Chief Executive (DCE) is responsible for the day-to-day executive and administrative functions of the District Assembly and is the chief representative of the Central Government in the district.

He is appointed by the President with the prior approval of not less than two-thirds majority of the members of the Assembly present and voting at the meeting. The District Co-ordinating Director (DCD) who heads the district bureaucracy and is Secretary to the Assembly, assists the DCE. The Assembly itself has Urban, Zonal and Town/Area Councils, which are supported by Unit Committees. Constituencies, which are either a smaller zone of the District or in some cases, just the same as the District, elect members to the national parliament.

The constituencies, which are either a smaller zone of the district or in some cases, just the same as the District, elect members to the National Parliament. The Area Councils and the Unit Committees also elect members who are responsible for the organization at the lower levels of the political administrative structure.

The highest political body is the Regional Coordinating Council, which is chaired by the Regional Ministers, and has representatives from the various District Assemblies, the Regional House of Chiefs and heads of various decentralised MDAs. The Regional Coordinating Director is the secretary to the Council. The District Assembly is presided over by the Presiding Member who is elected by at least two-thirds of the members present and voting.

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