The problem we have in Africa is that the Centre wants to hang on to power and if we continue with that concept, which I always refer to as 'Neo-Colonialism', we will NEVER move forward in Africa. Even the British that introduced the system are now changing and we are following their changes, which are still flawed, meaning ours will also be flawed!
In recent years, they introduced devolution in Great Britain. Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland now have their own Parliaments. Scotland is still demanding FULL DEVOLUTION but this is being resisted because some see it as the beginning of the end of Great Britain! This is also the problem in Africa because we see Devolution as may be the end of a Nation. Just as in Great Britain, colonisation took place and the old masters have held on to power. The same has applied in Africa after Independence, when the majority tribes have hung on to power; majority of the times. When I speak and write about devolution or decentralisation, it refers to Autonomy! But there is a difference in their literary meanings.
Great Britain was a former world power like the USA is today. In its heydays, even America was a colony and so was Canada and Australia. After Independence, these nations came up with THEIR OWN DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM, ABANDONING THE FORMER COLONIAL MASTER'S SYSTEM! They saw the flaws in the old system as it was seen as divisive, which is what democracy is anyway, hence, USA, Australia, and Canada devised their own systems. But our leaders could not follow the same examples after Independence! Tony Blair visited the three nations when he came into power in 1997 and that was when he started talking about Modernisation of Governance. Local Government was also modernised but was not done properly; because power is still retained at the Center in the Town Halls over the Neighbourhoods; while central government still retains control over the Town Halls.
This is the situation in Ghana at this minute. As a famous man once said. "The one that controls the money controls the subjects (paraphrased)". Since Central Government still controls the budgets, it controls the Regions and the Assemblies! What we need are AUTONOMOUS REGIONS and decentralised Towns and Villages/Districts. The Towns and Villages/Districts are decentralised because they are given their budgets by the Regions; as they, the Towns and Villages/Districts, have decided according to their NEEDS, in their Towns and Villages/Districts. Towns will be Services Delivery Platforms!
Taxes WILL BE COLLECTED FROM THE DISTRICT/VILLAGE LEVELS; this will include a National Tax for the National government. This tax WILL BE AGREED BETWEEN THE REGIONAL GOVERNMENTS AND THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT! The National government WILL CEASE to control the Regions, Towns, and District/Villages. This should be the model of Democracy we should aim for because under this model, we are able to have a One Party/Council Committee to run the affairs of the Districts/Villages; then to Town and Regional levels! The National Party/Council Committee WILL BE DELEGATES FROM EACH REGION OF THE COUNTRY APPOINTED BY THEIR MANAGEMENT COUNCIL COMMITTEES! They will be linked by Tribal Groupings which would remove Tribalism!
To have PROPER DEMOCRACY in Africa, WE MUST have FOUR (4) TIERS of Governments. Will Start At The District/Village Level with everybody including the Chiefs involved. Obviously, they will be of the same tribe and speak the same language.
2. There Will Be The Town Level. Services Provider for the Districts/Villages.
3. Then There Will Be The Regional Level. This Level WILL Tell The National Level What The Peoples Want. Whether To Be In The UN or Not And Whether To Obtain External Loans or Not Since The Regions Will Be Footing The Bills! Will also fund the Town Level According To Their Budget And Those Of The District/Villages.
4. Finally, the National Level comes into play to represent the Nation externally as Dictated by the Regions and Available Finance.
The ROLE of the National Council/Committee would be to DEFEND the Nation and appoint bodies to SET STANDARDS IN EDUCATION, HEALTH and WELFARE and the usual parameters necessary for the development of a Nation. The Regions will have their own enforcement agencies like they have it in the USA and Australia (State Police).
From this modernisation exercise, what we then have to do is implement the BEST Practices from Capitalism, Socialism, and Communism; if that still exists today! It really should be Capitalism and Socialism, by implementing Public Private Partnership! Personally, this is my objective view of moving the governance of this country and Africa forward into the twenty-first century! The Parliamentarians replaced the Monarchs as head of Governments and Nothing Has Changed Since That took place in the eighteenth/nineteenth century!
We Need A New System Now And It Is One Specifically Designed By An African For Africa! We Are Unique Because Nations In Africa Have Ex. Independent Countries/Peoples Within And We Must Devolve Power To These Peoples That Their Independence Were Taken Away By The Colonialists And Slavers!
Source: Ismail Danesi
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