The Local Government Service (LGS) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Institute of Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam, to build capacities of staff to ensure improved capacities of staff in a decentralized context. The MoU was signed by the Head of the Local Government Service, Ing. Dr Nana Ato Arthur on behalf of the LGS and Director at IHS, Dr Cornelis Wilhelmus on behalf of the IHS in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

The pact focuses on four main areas: integrated urban planning and development, preparation of infrastructure projects, environmental and climate change and municipal finance and governance. The agreement between the two institutions was to mutually collaborate on developing training modules, seminars, diploma courses, distance learning, staff exchanges and related programmes as part of urban governance that would take place in both Ghana and the Netherlands.

In a statement, Dr Ato Arthur described the pact as a great development opportunity since Ghana’s urban population was expected to reach 54 per cent by 2030 up from 36 per cent in 2016 due to rapid urbanisation and modernisation and would therefore, require an equitable and sustainable partnership such as this. He noted that the Local Government Service sought to be more innovative to support the country’s vision of Ghana Beyond Aid, attaining the Sustainable Development Goals, African Union Agenda 2063. He also stated that through the three-year partnership the capacities of staff would be built to position them to develop resilient measures to environmental issues including climate change that was have dire consequences on all the sectors of the nation’s economy.

Dr Wilhelmus said the University’s topmost priority was human development and institutional capacity building that facilitated quality livelihoods of people. He said the University had an enviable track record of developing capacity training for governments, non-governmental organisations, civil societies, and academia as well as training institutions in the selected areas.

The Local Government Service has the responsibility for providing the strategic direction for local government administration and management in Ghana. The Service collaborates other national institutions to facilitate on-going local government reforms to ensure that the local government administration in the country meets up to international best practices. The Service is also responsible for training and career development of staff of local government institutions to ensure the delivery of value for money services. Assisting local governments to open the local economies for development is another important function of the Service.

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