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50 assembly officials train on information disclosure

Accra, Aug. 11, GNA –
Fifty officials from four Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies
(MMDAs) are currently receiving training on how to improve information
disclosure and citizens’ access to information.

The officials comprise
chief executives, public relations/information officers, budget officers,
planning officers and environmental officers who are drawn from the Tema
Metropolitan, Wa Municipal and Twifo Ati-Mokwa, and Ellembelle District
Assemblies.

The training, which is
being organised by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), forms part of
activities under the project: “Promoting Citizens’ Participation in Local
Governance through Increased Access to Information”.

 Participants would receive knowledge on and
skills in how to effectively utilise media and other governance platforms to
share information, and thus become more responsive to citizens’ queries on the
management and utilisation of public resources within the local assemblies.

Leaders of the four
MMDAs committed to the project when MFWA held inception meetings to broker
collaborations between them, local-based radio stations and community based
organisations.

Ms Adizatu Moro Maiga,
the MFWA’s Programme Officer for Media, Democracy and Development, said it was
important for citizens to receive information from their duty bearers on how
public resources were managed and utilised.

“This does not only
build trust in leaders; it also reduces citizens’ apathy towards local
development,” she added.

Launching the project
in Wa, the Deputy Upper West Regional Minister, Chinnia Issahaku, observed that
granting citizens’ access to information helped to dispel the negative
perception they had about local authorities and their work.

He therefore charged
the assembly officials to take advantage of the project to explore effective
ways to become more accessible to the community citizens.

The MFWA’s Access to
Information Project seeks to promote accountability, transparency and inclusive
governance.

 It is currently being implemented in
partnership with DW Akadamie in four pilot districts and with OSIWA in five
additional districts.

It involves community
forums, comprehensive capacity building programmes for local radio stations
based in the target districts as well as support for media programme production
on community development and governance issues.

Other activities under
the project include training of young community members in citizen journalism,
and production of policy briefs highlighting community development and
governance challenges in the target districts.

GNA

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