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The project seeks to promote environmentally sustainable livelihoods and decent work for women, women groups, migrant workers popularly referred to as kayayei and youth dependent on informal economies while at the same time improving transparency, accountability and revenue mobilization in the two local authorities. This project is therefore in line with the European Union's support to decentralisation in Ghana
The project would support the growth of the informal economy in Brong Ahafo (BA) and Greater Accra (GA) regions in Ghana and will be working directly in a total of 40 communities in both Sunyani West District and La-Nkwantanang-Madina Municipality.
It will empower 7,800 women and youth aged 18-40, through vocational training and job creation, expansion of local economic activities and promotion of decent work, while improving transparency, accountability and revenue mobilization of the Local Authorities (LA) and enhance their role in supporting the informal sector.
The European Union is particularly satisfied with the work of the Evaluation Committee that was set up to facilitate the selection of successful applicants for the award of grants following the launch of the call for proposals in February 2016.
The proposal presented by ActionAid, Ghana, and its co-applicants La-Nkwantanang Madina Municipal Assembly and Sunyani West District Assembly, was selected on merit based on the laudable objectives and the expected results that will be achieved at the end of implementation.
The added value of civil society and local government collaboration is the active involvement of the citizenry in the design and implementation of programmes and policies. Civil Society Organisations participation is essential in designing and implementing programmes that meet people's needs. The collaboration with the two local authorities should increase synergy and help mobilize citizens in the local level development process.
Local authorities have a critical role to play in ensuring the delivery of improved services to citizens. The delivery of improved services will only take place if local authorities are able to generate adequate revenues.
Decentralisation is regarded by the European Union as a way of promoting local democracy and local development outcomes. The collaboration between ActionAid, Ghana - a civil society organisation – and local authorities to implement such an innovative project is commendable.
This is also in line with the European Commission's Communication to the European Parliament –''The roots of democracy and sustainable development: Europe's engagement with Civil Society in external relations.''
The EU is hopeful that with diligence and commitment by all the stakeholders involved in the implementation of this project, it should be a flagship project that will not only justify the expenditure but also one that will generate useful experiences for sharing.