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Opinions of Sunday, 10 January 2021

Columnist: Charles Donkoh

Proposal from afar on reducing number of ministries

The President took office on the 7th of January. As this is a continuation government, I expect that the inner circle of the President (all presidents have inner circles/kitchen cabinets) and team have already identified their preferred candidates for the various ministries and government departments.

It is not unusual for some of the minsters in the previous era to lose their jobs or be transferred to other ministries. Changing ministerial portfolios is not only good to curb temptations of complacency, corruption, and innovation fatigue; it enhances the leadership skills and abilities of appointees.

I propose that the number of ministries be reduced to 16 - don’t know the exact current number but I am confident that they are way past 16. I, believe that, the proposals will align the core activities of ministries and boost delivery; strengthen oversight of their activities, and improve their scrutiny.

Each ministry is headed by a minister but the number of deputy ministers for each ministry should depend on the governmental agenda and focus.

Below are my proposals - Ghana government ministries:

1. Defence - with one deputy

Interfaces

Interface with Interior



2. Justice - with three deputies: to focus on justice accessibility and reforms ; prosecution, regulations and compliance; and government advice and compliance

Proposed Agencies

Judicial Service

State Prosecution

Establish task force/commission to decentralise legal training. Ghana needs more lawyers. Retire the patronising quantity vs quality argument. This same old fashioned argument was invoked when medical schools were been mooted and later established in Kumasi and ,later, Tamale. The market will sieve the wheat from the chaff re.quality.

Establish a national prosecuting service. The police shouldn’t be law enforcers and prosecutors at the same time - manifest conflict of interest. This is why you need more lawyers. Democracies (and rule of law - human rights) thrive when law is accessible, clear, intelligible and administered in impartial and speedy way.

Interfaces

Interface with Education

Interface with Interior

Interface with Health and Social Welfare



3. Interior - with two deputies. One to focus on crime and policing (and Police reforms), and prisons; another on national security and immigration et al.

Propose Agencies

Task force for Police Reforms

Commission for Prison Reforms

Interfaces

Interface with Justice

Interface with Foreign Affairs

Interface with Defence

Interface with Local Government and Community Development



4. Education, Children & Youth - with three deputies: Children and School Systems; Technical and Tertiary Education; and Youth Development and Participation

Proposed Agencies

National Youth Agency

National Service Secretariat

Might need an agency specifically for children- promote children’s development, engagement and participation. There might be one already in existence, that I don’t know about

Interfaces

Interface with Health and Social Welfare

Interface with Business and Industry

Interface with Justice

Interface with Labour and Human Capital



5. Environment & Natural Resources - land; water resources; sanitation. The Ministry should focus on exploration, utilisation, exploitation, and protection of natural resources. Three deputies - lands and forests; water resources; air and sanitation

Proposed Agencies

Environmental Protection Agency

Forestry Commission

Water Resources Agency

Sanitation Agency

Land Commission/Agency

Interfaces

Interface with Business & Industry re. distribution

Interface with Energy resources

Interface with Agriculture

Interface with Health



6. Energy Resources - petroleum; gas; electricity generation. Three deputies: petroleum and gas; electricity; energy renewals and innovation

Proposed Agencies

Petroleum Development and Regulation - GNPC? & Petroleum Commission et al?

Gas - Ghana Gas

Electricity Development

Energy Renewable, Improvements and Innovation

Interfaces

Interface with Environment re. exploration and exploitation

Interface with Business & Industry re. distribution - commercial bit



7. Finance & Treasury - Economic Planning & Strategy, Procurement, and Treasury (three deputies with these aligned remits).

There are a number of already functioning agencies here

Interface with all ministries



8. Agriculture - food production and security. Three deputies: food production; food security; and fisheries

Proposed Agencies

Food Security

Food Production

Fisheries Development

Food Safety

Interfaces

Interface with Infrastructure Development and Transport re. distribution

Interface with Business and Industry re. commercialisation and distribution, and security and safety.



9. Foreign Affairs - with two deputies: one for Africa and Diaspora affairs ( given Ghana’s history and ambition)



10. Health and Social Welfare - with two deputies: health and social welfare remits

Proposed Agencies

Social Welfare Agency

Equality Opportunities Agency (interface with Justice)

Public Health Agency (promotion and prevention)

NHIS et al

Interfaces

Interface with Justice

Interface with Education, Children & Youth

Interface with Local Government and Community Development



11. Infrastructure Development - housing; works; roads et al. Three deputies - housing, public works, and transport infrastructure

Proposed Agencies

Housing Development

Roads

Aviation and Sea

Railways

Public Works (because of poor culture of maintenance of public properties and infrastructure)



Interfaces

Interface with Business and Industry

Interface with Environment and Natural Resources

Interface with Agriculture



12. Transport - road; air; sea; rail. Three deputies - roads (given poor road policy development and implementation, and regulation); railways; air and sea

Proposed Agencies

Road transport regulation & safety

Aviation and Sea regulation & safety

Railways regulations and safety

Interfaces

Interface with Infrastructure Development

Interface with Business and Industry

Interface with Environment and Natural Resources



13. Arts, Culture, Tourism, Sports - media; leisure; chieftaincy et al. Four deputies - arts, culture (include chieftaincy, media - free press & expression should be part of our culture - et al), tourism, and sports

Proposed Agencies

Arts Development & Improvement

Tourism Development & Improvement

Sports Development and Improvement Council (National Sports Council). Most of the various sporting disciplines have regulatory bodies that can report to this overarching development and improvement Council.

National Media Commission

Culture Promotion Commission

Interfaces

Interface with Education

Interface with Business and Industry re. commercialisation



14. Business & Industry - including science & technology. Three deputies - business & trade, industry, and science and technology

Proposed Agencies

Business Development and Improvement

Industry Development, Innovation and Improvement

Science, Technology & Innovation

Interfaces

Interface with Environment and Natural Resources

Interface with Energy Resources

Interface with Labour and Human Capital

Interface with Education

Interface with Agriculture

Interface with Arts and Culture et al



15. Labour & Human Capital - with two deputies - labour (engagement and regulation), and human capital

Proposed Agencies

Labour Commission et al

Human Resources/Capital Development and Improvement



Interfaces

Interface with Education

Interface with Business and Industry



16. Local Government & Community Development - with two deputies: local government, and community development

Proposed Agencies

Community Development & Improvement - coordinating body for the ultra regional and area development bodies (coastal, middle belt, northern, Zongo et al)

Local Government Development and Improvement - support, regulate and inspect district assemblies to ensure uniformity in core functions and that they effectively fulfil their functions

Local Government Funding - District Assemblies Common Fund



Office of the Presidency

Proposed Offices/Divisions

Senior Minister

National Security

Policy Development

Policy Delivery (Implementation) and Evaluation

National Development Planning Commission

Communication Directorate



Ministries that need to be abolished

Information - what is the purpose of this? Subsume under Presidency (Communication Director/Spokesperson)

Communication - subsumed under Business & Industry

Business - subsumed under Business & Industry

Sanitation - subsumed under Environment and Natural Resources

Railways - subsumed under Transport and Infrastructure subsume under Business & Industry

Aviation - subsumed under Transport and Infrastructure subsume under Business & Industry

Chieftaincy - subsumed under Arts, Culture et al

Inner Cities - subsumed under Local Government and Community Development

National Security - subsumed under Office of President

Science and Technology - subsumed under Business and Industry; and Education

Water Resources - subsumed under Environment and Natural Resources

Special Initiatives - subsumed under Local Government and Community Development; and Office of President (Policy Development)

Policy Evaluation - subsumed under Office of President (Delivery and Evaluation)

Gender & Children - subsumed under Education Children & Youth, and Health & Social Welfare



Some of the proposed agencies might already be in existence under the proposed or different names - some would need to be combined with others while others would need to have their remit expanded.



There are other, equally, important agencies under the abolished ministries that might need to be transferred to the new ones, combined with others, or scrapped.



Declaration - I don’t know all the key agencies under each of the ministries to do justice to all. Other persons are well placed to advice on this.

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