By: Okunyin Boaz Orlan-Hackman
A team of local and international experts soliciting inputs to develop a Social Protection Policy for Ghana has paid a working visit to the Ga East Municipal Assembly to learn of their experience.
The visit followed a day’s workshop organized by the Institute of Local Government Studies in collaboration with UNICEF for senior members of ILGS and selected staff of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
The six-member team, led by Dr. Esther Ofei-Aboagye, included three experts on Social Protection from the European Union (EU) and UNICEF.
They were received by the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Hon. John Kwao Sackey and some key officers of the Assembly and Coordinators of the various social intervention programmes.
Interactions with Officers
The team interacted with the officers to learn at first hand, the Assembly’s experiences, successes and the challenges faced in implementing the various programmes.
Dr. Ofei-Aboagye, explaining the rationale for the visit, said that the Ga East Municipal Assembly was selected because of its successes in the implementation of the various programmes. She added that the visit was to solicit inputs from the local level to help develop a Social Protection Policy for the country.
The Municipal Chief Executive, Hon. John Kwao Sackey expressed delight on the choice of his Assembly by the team for visiting to share in their experience. He mentioned among others the School Feeding Programme as being successfully implemented by the Assembly.
He disclosed to the team that as part of the Assembly’s social protection drive, it has set up a fund to support the women who receive training in various income generating activities by the Community Development Unit and the Agric Department to help them earn a living to support their families. He indicated that the fund would soon be made available for the women to access after the modalities for disbursement have being worked out.
Dr Esther Ofei-Aboagye, after the interactions, showered praise on the MCE and the Assembly for their good work and noted that the team had learnt a lot which according to her would impact significantly on the success of their task. She thanked the officers for their insightful contributions.
The Municipal Coordinating Director, Mr. Martin Dassah, was optimistic that the contributions made by his officers and the information gathered by the team will go a long way to help in developing a sustainable Social Protection Policy for the nation and thanked the team for their visit. He assured them that they will work on the loopholes identified during the interactions to improve upon the programmes.
Members of the team were Dr. Esther Ofei-Aboagye, a Social Protection expert and former Director of ILGS, Dr. Andeas Bitinas and Mr. Michel Laroque, EU experts from Lithuania and France respectively and Mr. Selwyn Jehoma, UNICEF expert from South Africa. The rest were Mrs. Magdalene Kannae, Head of Gender and Social Development Unit of ILGS and Miss Christiana Gbedemah from UNICEF.