The Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) through the implementation of Twin-Cities in Sustainable Partnership Project (TCSPP) has organized a four-day training workshop at Busua Beach Resort for members of the Assembly’s Metro Planning and Co-ordinating Unit (MPCU) and Spatial Planning Committee (SPC) on Integrated Urban Governance and Spatial Planning. The workshop brought together fifty (50) participants made up of MPCU and SPC members as well as selected staff from the Central Administration and Human Resource Department of the Assembly.

Consultants from the Institute of Local Government Studies led by the Director of the Institute, Prof. Nicholas Awotwi facilitated the training. Among the topics treated at the workshop were Decentralization and Metropolitan Governance, Managing Municipalities as a Business, Urban Economic Development, Land Use and Spatial Planning. The training forms part of activities being executed under the Multi-Level Urban Governance cluster of the project

Opening the event, the Mayor of Sekondi-Takoradi, Hon. Abdul Mumin Issah stated that the training was aimed to enhance the capacity of city officials to enable co-creation and implementation of sustainable strategies to address the many problems deriving from rapid urbanization, climate change and social exclusion. The mayor noted that rapid increase in population and urban sprawl over the last two decades have created many challenges such as backlog of services and infrastructure, waste management problems, growing urban poverty, continuous formation and densification of slum areas, as well as the damages already suffered from perennial flooding.

Hon. Issah therefore urged the participants to make good use of the training opportunity to acquire more knowledge in urban governance in order to make meaningful contributions towards the regeneration development agenda of the Metropolis. The mayor further stated that another joint workshop will be organized for members of the MPCU and SPC, together with identified stakeholders focusing on integrated urban development planning and design; spatial integration and connectivity; human security and resilience in local spatial plan preparation. ‘Another training for staff of the spatial planning unit and identified stakeholders will also be organized focusing on Spatial Planning, Permitting Processes and Local spatial plan preparation’, he said.

Hon. Abdul Mumin Issah also hinted on the Assembly’s plans to enhance its online platform, STMA 360 which is currently only used for processing of development permits to include all the services provided by the Assembly.
The Director of Local Government Studies, Prof. Nicholas Awotwi on his part commended STMA for organizing the training to enhance the capacity of its staff and other stakeholders. He urged for the deepening of decentralization to ensure co-responsibility between institutions of governance at the central, regional and local levels. He pledged the Institute’s commitment to partner with STMA to improve the local governance knowledge base of all its stakeholders. Participants at the workshop expressed their various expectations from the training and promised to give their best for the betterment of the Metropolis.

The Twin-Cities in Sustainable Partnership is a three (3) year European Union founded project being implemented in the twin-cities of Sekondi-Takoradi and Palermo in Italy. The Project would contribute to enhancing urban management by addressing challenges such as urban sprawl, climate change, poverty and exclusion. It will also cater for the new realities of the Covid-19 pandemic. The overall objective of the three (3) year project dubbed, ‘Twin-Cities in Sustainable Partnership’ is to promote a Sustainable and Integrated Urban Development in the two cities. The STMA is implementing the project with its partners (Cooperazione Internazionale Sud Sud (CISS), Ghana Sicily Business Forum and Kumasi Technical University).