Authors: Oduro-Ofori, Eric
Title: The role of local government in local economic development promotion at the district level in Ghana
Other Titles: A study of the Ejisu-Juaben municipal assembly
Language (ISO): en
Abstract: This study investigated the role of local government in local economic development (LED). Local governments in the developed world have been promoting the LED of areas under their control for decades unlike their counterparts in the developing world. With the advent of decentralisation in many countries of the developing world, many of their local governments have also gotten involved in promoting LED. Despite this, their contributions have been negligible if not totally absent. As the implementation and practice of decentralisation deepens in Ghana, local governments, locally called District Assemblies have the responsibility of ensuring the total development of the areas under their jurisdiction. Despite the ample evidence indicating their increasing effectiveness in delivering social services, they have not been able to effectively promote LED. This study therefore set out to find out why these local governments are not able to effectively promote LED at the local level in Ghana. This study was necessitated by the fact there exist few and less comprehensive studies in LED with regards to the involvement of local governments in the country. There is also the need to examine the persistent ineffectiveness of local governments in LED, their challenges, basic conditonalities, and the critical way forward to mitigate these. The Ejisu-Juaben Municipal Assembly (local government) of the Ejisu-Juaben Municipality of the republic of Ghana was the case studied. The study analysed how the local government carried out its LED promotional drive, its capacity, the involvement of other stakeholders and other factors influencing its involvement in the process. It employed the use of mainly qualitative research methodology. The case study approach was adopted as the research strategy. Both primary and secondary sources of data were used and a variety of methods including interviews, documentary analysis, observations, group discussions and questionnaire administration were employed to ensure triangulation and the quality of data collected and analysed. The study revealed that, though the local government played several roles in LED, these were mainly traditional and not directly effective to rapidly address the LED needs of the municipality. The various strategies and tools applied were also limited in scope. The local government was also less committed to the implementation of programmes and projects stated in its development plans that were of direct benefit to economic entities in municipality. More so, it had inadequate capacity in terms of funds, logistics and human resources. In addition, it depended to a larger extent on the central government for most of its capacity needs. It also had a weak institutional set-up for LED promotion which affected negatively the coordination of LED initiatives. The LED process was also not well integrated into the local government‘s development planning process. Moreover, the local government‘s involvement of other stakeholders in its LED process was limited to informing and consulting. It maintained a weak relationship with local stakeholders and a higher one with external stakeholders. There was also the absence of a clear platform for stakeholder engagement by the local government in its LED process. Other external factors influencing its performance in the LED process included the absence of a national policy framework to guide its involvement in LED, hindered access to the utilisation and control of certain local resources and the inadequate capacity of local economic entities in the municipality. The study therefore recommends that for the local government to be effective in the process of LED, it must put in pragmatic and relevant strategies and tools, have the needed capacity, a strong institutional set-up and should consciously involve all the necessary and potential stakeholders in all the stages of the LED process. This should also be complemented by efforts of the central government to strengthen the local government in the process of LED.
Subject Headings: Local economic development
Local government
Subject Headings (RSWK): Ghana
Regionale Wirtschaftsentwicklung
Issue Date: 2011-11-14
Appears in Collections:Geographische Grundlagen und Raumplanung in Entwicklungsländern

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