Accra – Tuesday, 26th March 2024: Dr. Nana Ato Arthur has identified the role of the Co-ordinating Director as very critical to development. He revealed that the roles of Co-ordinating Directors are evolving due to the complexities of Local Government administration. 

He therefore prescribed effective and result-oriented leadership as the panacea to ensure the attainment of the overall mandated development at the sub-national and the national levels. 

These were contained in a keynote presentation made by the Head of Service on the topic ‘Advancing Sustainability in Ghana: The Role of the Local Government Service and Associated challenges’ at an event organized by University of Bradford (UK) in partnership with the British Council (Ghana). The event dubbed ‘International Knowledge Transfer Network’ (IKTN) conference was held at the British Council in Accra under the theme “Responsible Leadership for Sustainable and Inclusive growth”. 

The conference was aimed among other things at celebrating the continuous partnership between Ghana and the United Kingdom in terms of higher education. It also provided the avenue for more Ghanaian students to leverage on higher educational opportunities provided by the University of Bradford. 

Dr. Nana Ato Arthur submitted that “Our changing world requires dynamism in leadership that will impact on the social, economic and environmental challenges confronting our cities”.  

He postulated a change of mindset that would peak at WISER Municipalities for WISER Ghana as the new agenda for development at the MMDA levels. The WISER Municipalities refer to: Wealthy, Inclusive, Sustainable, Empowered and Resilient MMDAs that leads to a strengthened Local Government for effective public service delivery by the MMDAs. The Head of Service recommended the need for skill development in management and leadership, waste management, innovative revenue mobilization systems, city management, strategic planning, critical thinking, and policy analysis whilst embracing digitalization as the skill sets that coordinating directors must have. 

The Head of the Local Government Service also enumerated some challenges facing sustainable development in Local Government administration in Ghana. The enumerated challenges included: low Internally Generated Funds (IGF), Haphazard development at the local level, Inadequate capacity in specialized areas and low absorption of technology (i.e. Artificial Intelligence, Digital governance etc.) 

On his part, the Ghana Ambassador to the United Kingdom His Excellency Papa Owusu-Ankomah who spoke on “The Role of Higher Education in Supporting Economic Development and Growth in Ghana”, lauded the long – lasting relationship between Ghana and the United Kingdom (UK) in Higher Education. He recalled that the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has benefitted from educational institutions in the UK from the colonial era to date.  

He acknowledged the need for crucial investment in higher education as a boost to economic growth and development by investing in the development of skilled graduates. This, he said, is essential for a strong human capital base. He also encouraged investment across all sectors of education for sustainable development. The Ambassador identified brain drain phenomenon as a major challenge that ought to be addressed by both Ghana and the UK. 

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