District Assemblies empowered to mobilize effective internal revenue

August 30, 2023

Training participants in Kumasi.

Photo @Vanessa Fosu/UNDPGhana


The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, and the Ministry of Finance, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), trained personnel of Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in Ghana to strengthen their capabilities to mobilize more internal revenue.

The capacity-strengthening training programme was held in six of Ghana’s 16 regions including the Ashanti, Northern, Volta, Upper East, Western, and Western-North regions. 

The training focused on strategies for developing revenue improvement action plans, revenue tracking and budgeting, and legal frameworks for administering local-level taxation. Additionally, participants were introduced to novel funding avenues that MMDAs can leverage with bankable projects, and these include green finance, diaspora partnerships, public-private partnerships (PPPs), and partnerships with philanthropists.

The UNDP Resident Representative in Ghana, Angela Lusigi, speaking at the training in Tamale underscored the importance of partnerships to unlock innovative financing and investment in critical development projects.

"UNDP has been at the forefront of identifying gaps, policy options, and capacity issues to unlock innovative financing for local development. We will continue to collaborate with partners to explore innovative financing methods that empower communities, enabling them to drive transformative change and collectively work toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals”, Dr. Lusigi emphasized. 

The motivation for the training stems from the findings and recommendations of the integrated Assembly financing framework, a strategy designed to offer comprehensive approaches for improving internally generated funds of five initial MMDAs. This is to help them to be able to finance their development plans after the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the Tamale training, Mr. Jonathan Azasoo, the Senior Technical Advisor to the Director-General of the NDPC, stressed the importance of the training. 

"Enhancing the capacity of MMDAs to generate funds sustainably is a pivotal step toward fostering local development, citizen empowerment, and overall progress. This will not only strengthen the financial backbone of local governments but also lay the groundwork for more resilient, responsive, and prosperous communities”, noted Mr. Azasoo.

The Northern Regional Minister, Honorable Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu, in a speech read on his behalf, pledged support in addressing challenges with internal revenue generation at the MMDAs to advance local development. 

"We assure all partners of our consistent support in implementing recommended strategies to tackle critical issues related to Internally Generated Funds in our communities. Together, we will work tirelessly to bridge the gap between financial resources and spending needs, particularly in the Northern Regions", he stated.

One of the participants who benefited from the training was Ruhaima Salisu, Deputy Director of the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly. She acknowledged the importance of the new strategies and mechanisms developed for generating internal funds. 

“The sustainable financing strategy is a remarkable innovation, reducing reliance on government support and easing financial constraints. The training provided valuable insights to each officer's role in the assembly, empowering us to enhance our Internally Generated Funds (IGF) effectively”, she stated.

A total of 84 MMDAs out of the country’s 261 benefited from the training. The two-day training brought together coordinating directors, finance and administrative sub-committee chairpersons, development planning officers, finance officers, budget officers, and internal auditors from various districts in the selected regions. 

Angela Lusigi, the UNDP Resident Representative in Ghana speaking at the training in Tamale.

Photo @Vanessa Fosu/UNDPGhana

Some training participants in a group work session in Tamale.

Photo @Vanessa Fosu/UNDPGhana