A number of local assembly leaders in northern Ghana this month used the platform of radio to disclose information on their revenue inflow and expenditure to citizens. Under the MFWA’s “State of the District Radio Broadcasts” initiative in Ghana, Chief Executives Officers of selected districts, municipalities and metropolis in northern Ghana appeared on local radio stations to deliver an Address on the state of their assemblies. They also answered questions from citizens via telephone and social media platforms.
The Chief Executives for Tamale Metropolitan, Bolga Municipal, Wa Municipal, Garu-Tempane and Sisala-East districts featured on Diamond FM, URA Radio, Radio Upper-West, Quality FM and RADFORD FM respectively. They were accompanied by key technical staff to ensure informed answers to the citizens’ concerns and issues of everyday life. The dominant issue in the Addresses for the month was Revenue inflows and utilization of funds as well as the implementation of initiated projects and how they are being funded.
The programme offered a unique opportunity for listeners to directly ask follow-up questions on the Address through phone-in segment and use of social media platforms (Facebook and WhatsApp) Listeners also asked questions on other areas of concern such as market tolls and sanitation.
“The programme was a great success. Especially the phone-in segment which gave us an opportunity to communicate directly with our people”, the Chief Executive of Garu-Tempane district, Hon. Albert Alazuuga Akuka said. A caller also noted “this programme will make our leaders more accessible and accountable to us in terms of what they are doing and what they are not doing”.
At MFWA, we believe that the opportunity to receive information empowers citizens to participate in governance and become involved in decision making processes. The “State of the District Radio Broadcasts” thus forms part of our Media for Accountable, Transparent and Participatory Local Governance Project being carried out in collaboration with district assemblies and local radio stations in selected districts in Upper East, Upper West and Northern regions of Ghana.
The project, with funding support from IBIS-Ghana, seeks to increase information flow between local government authorities and citizens on the activities within their Assemblies. It falls within the MFWA’s bigger objective of enhancing citizens’ involvement in governance; enhancing responsiveness by local government authorities as well as increasing community demand for transparency, accountability and openness in information disclosure.
The “State of the District Radio Broadcasts” is aired every other month. The next edition will be in November.