The Local Government Service (LGS) and the Institute of Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to build capacities of staff to ensure effective decentralization.
Under the pact, the two have agreed 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.
The MoU focuses on four main areas: integrated urban planning and development, preparation of infrastructure projects, environmental and climate change and municipal finance and governance.
Dr Nana Ato Arthur, the Head of Local Government Service, signed on behalf of the Service while Dr Cornelis Wilhelmus, a Director at HIS, signed for his Institute at a brief ceremony in Rotterdam.
In an interview, Dr Ato Arthur explained that Ghana’s rapid urbanisation and modernisation was of great development opportunity and would, therefore, require equitable and sustainable partnership.
He said the urban population of Ghana was expected to reach 54 per cent by 2030 up from 36 per cent in 2016.
“The four are Nairobi, Lagos, Johannesburg and Cairo, according to the State of African Cities Report 2018,” he said.
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.
“Its mission is to support Local Government to deliver value for money services through the mobilisation, harmonisation and utilisation of qualified human capacity and material resources to promote local and national development,” he said.
Dr Wilhelmus said the University had human development and institutional capacity building that facilitated quality livelihoods of people as some of its topmost priority.
He said the University was one of the topmost universities in the world and 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 LGS is a Public Service Institution with the mandate to secure effective administrative and management of local government in the country, made up of the LGS, the Regional Co-ordinating Councils, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies and their substructure.