The western Region of the National Commission for Democracy NCD has organized a day’s workshop to train Councilors and 10 Ward Committees in the western Rural District on the promotion of Democracy and Good Governance with the aim of educating Ward Development Committee Members about their functions and the need to execute their duties effectively.
The Workshop that was hosted at the Rural District Council Hall in Waterloo on August 5, 2014 targeted 55 participants that included both the Councilors and their Ward Committee members and a comprehensive analysis of the role and functions of the Ward Committees and the Councilors where delivered by the Chairman of the Commission Dr. Abubakar H Kargbo and the resource person Albert Kanu Jr. who has acquired a wealth of experience in the field of Local Governance and related disciplines.
In his opening remarks, the Chairman of the Commission underscored the need for the training noting that the rationale for creating the local councils is for people at the local level o take active part in the administration of the affairs of the state. He said the training will provide them the opportunity to be able to contribute prudently in the governance process of their communities.
The chairman noted that the Ward Committees play a pivotal role in the development of their communities since they serve as intermediaries between the local people in their communities and the Councils and encouraged them to interact with the people to ensure that they participate in the development process of their communities.
Dr. Kargbo elaborated on the principles of democratic good governance emphasizing the need for a free, fair and periodic elections, the rule of law, transparency, accountability and the importance of the state in providing the basic needs for its citizens.
The Acting Chairperson of the Rural District Council Madam Margret Kargbo applauded the Commission for undertaking the project of educating Ward Committee members in the Western Rural District saying that the training will help enhance the capacity of the Ward committee Members and will enable them to carry out their roles as prescribe in the Local Government Act of 2014.
She assured the Commission that the training will yield the required result as she encouraged participants to take the training very seriously since it will aid their understanding on the dynamics of their functions and their relationship with both the Councilors and the people.
The Commissioner of the Northern Region Bai John Conteh who also doubles as the focal person for the Performance tracking Table PTT gave a background of the Commission saying that NCD was created by an Act of Parliament with the aim of educating the public about their civic rights and obligations and further informed his audience that the training is part of the Commission’s activities of the year in the PTT signed with State House which also resonates with the mandate of the Commission that includes providing Civic Education for the general citizenry.
Commissioner Conteh emphasized the need for the training noting that the Ward Committees are a microcosm of the Community and has a crucial role to play in the planning of the development of their ward and therefore needs adequate capacity in order to be able to perform their duties in the interest of the communities they represent. He encouraged the Councilors and Ward Committee members to take advantage of the training and equip themselves so that they will be in a position to make informed decisions in the implementation of their functions.
The Acting Commissioner in the Western Region of the Commission, Benjamine Mac Foy welcomed the participants and encouraged them to take the workshop seriously and replicate what they have learnt to the performance of their functions in their various wards.
The Resource Person for the workshop Albert Kanu Jr. lectured on the role and functions of Councilors and Ward Committee members and also expressly explained the need for Ward Development Committee members to treat the knowledge gained with every iota of seriousness noting the organic relationship between the Ward Development Committees and the councilors in the operations of local councils. He went on to outline the various segments of his presentation also requesting from the attendees their expectations and rules and regimes for the workshop. With a learner-centered approach to the facilitation of the workshop, the lead facilitator succeeded in gaining the attention of the attendees from start to finish as every bit of it was interactive