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Translate all govt policies into local languages
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General News of Friday, 15 September 2006

Source: GNA

Translate all govt policies into local languages

Tamale, Sept 15, GNA - Stakeholders at a two-day workshop on: "Wildlife Management and Food and Agriculture Sector Development Policy Documents" in Tamale on Wednesday called for the translation of all government policies into Ghanaian languages.

They said the proper understanding of policies was very important to allow different stakeholders to tailor their ativities within the context of such policies and also take advantage of opportunities they offer.

The stakeholders, made up of traditional authorities, District Coordinating Directors, Foresters, and NGOs from the Northern Region were sensitised on the two policy documents.

They also called on the Ministry of Lands, Forestry and Mines to embark on awareness creation among the citizenry on the policies that they said were crucial to their development.

"The citizenry need to be abreast with the objectives of government policies and also know the roles they are expected to play to ensure the successful implementation of the policies".

Care International, a non-governmental organisation dedicated to improving food security and livelihoods of poor rural households, organised the workshop.

The participants expressed the need for the formation of a national policy forum to discuss government policies taking specific aspects and peculiarities of the people and the regions into consideration.

The stakeholders said such a forum would help hasten the development of the country because people would play their roles in a nationalistic manner.

They asked Members of Parliament to reposition themselves to identify specific issues of their regions and dovetail them into the government policies for their successful implementation.

For the successful implementation of the two policies, they called for rewarding schemes for chiefs who had helped manage their environment. Chiefs should also be supported with a legal framework to enable them to enforce environmental laws.

The stakeholders urged the government to provide adequate logistics to the Meteorological Service Department to enhance their forecast of the weather conditions.

"We need accurate information on the rainfall pattern to enable us to prepare our farms and the type of crops to plant for the season and also be advised on disasters," they said. The participants also urged policy makers to be gender sensitive in the formulation of policies especially issues

involving the environment and food security.

Professor David Millar, Dean of Research and Postgraduate

Studies at the University for Development Studies (UDS) who

took the participants through the two policy documents,

suggested the formation of a think-tank group that would

articulate issues of the north to the government and

development partners. He said: "The north needs such an advocacy group which

will always take policies and study them, pointing out the

deficiencies and suggesting best alternatives to the

government regarding the position of the north". He suggested that such a group should be non-partisan,

saying: "Its role should be to look at things in an objective

manner, seek the welfare of the nation and interest of the

people first, when sensitising the people on government

policies". Professor Millar mentioned the confusion that surrounded

the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) and said if such a

group had been in place the problem would have been

addressed at the formulation stage of the policy. "We need to make efforts to educate our people on

government policies at both the formulation and

implementation stages to avoid any such confusion in future",

he said

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