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Cities As A Strategic Resource: The ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ Agenda

Ghana chalks another mile stone for hosting this years Ghana Urban Forum 2020, in Accra, under the theme: “Unlocking the systems of planning, connecting and financing for secondary and intermediate cities to propel growth towards the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda”

The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama ( MP), Stakeholders, partners and international representives of various organisations, graced the occasion of this years Urban Forum 2020 with focus on the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda in planning, connecting and financing for secondary and intermediate Cities.

These forum is a preparatory preparation for stakeholders towards the Abu Dhabi event which will be held in a months time with the theme: “Cities of Opportunities, Connecting Culture and Innovation”.

As Urban cities tend to grow in population there is the possibility of the country facing challenges in social amenities, healthcare, housing, energy systems transportation, employment
infrastructure among others and there should be the provision of essential services to support them.

Ghana therefore, needs to have an extensive national urban policy where cities are drivers of sustainable and inclusive economic, transformation.

In a keynote address by the Minister, she stated that, connecting secondary cities and equally distributing resources to them would enhance national development and reduce challenges that urban cities face.

The ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda is to create shared developed prosperity, tangible benefits for citizens in the creation of jobs and to ensure cleaner air practices. Ghana therefore needs to position itself against adverse effect of climate change such as earthquake, floods among others.

She further emphasized that, most municipal cities are now being digitized to help local assemblies in their collection of revenue such as property rates, building permits, hitherto some municipal assembies such as Adenta, Suhum, Sekondi Takoradi among others where the automation exercise has been piloted have seen improvement in service delivery such as business registration, data collection and revenue mobilization.

Ghana Urban Forum 2020, had stakeholders from the Metropolitan, Municipal, District assemblies, UNICEF, National Development Planning commission, other ministries, department and agencies, Civil society organisations among others who represented and contributed immensely to the success of the programme.

Other important contributions where from Mr. Mohammed Adjei Sowah, the Mayor of Accra who gave the welcome address, he urged all stakeholders to adopt the 11th sustainable development Goal(SDG 11), which commits countries to make cities and Human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Ms. Slyvia Lopez -Ekra, the UN Resident Coordinator, Ghana, in a statement opined that Ghana should strengthen the capacity of local government authorities, to ensure revenues are used to finance developments in their communities.

Emeritus Prof. Brian H. Roberts, the director of Urban Frontier applauded Ghana for taking gaint steps to initiate the ,’Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda which will ensure rapid development across all districts by helping upgrade most urban cities to secondary cities.
” improving connectivity and networking with systems of secondary cities will significantly lower disparities in levels of regional development ”

Cities in Ghana are managing transition to Zero-Carbon , climate – resilient cities that will help secure national economic prosperity and improve quality of life while tackling climate crises.

By Nana Adjoa Orllens

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