Central Regional Minister advocates development fund for queen mothers
Central Regional Minister advocates development fund for queen mothers Website
The Central Regional Minister, Nana Ato Arthur on Tuesday said Queens play an important role in the local governance of the country and advocated a development fund to enhance their work. He expressed worry that despite the major role queens played in local governance, they faced problems such as lack of funds, and unnecessary competition with chiefs as to who should represent their traditional areas at functions, while there was also delay in gazetting them. Nana Arthur stated this when he opened a three-day capacity building workshop on "the role of queens in local governance" for more than 70 queen mothers in the Central Region at Cape Coast. The workshop, which is to, among others, empower the queens in the region on the role they could play in local governance is being organized by the Regional Queens Association in collaboration with Pro-Image Consult an NGO with support from the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment. Nana Arthur pointed out that by their constitutional role, chiefs and queens are to facilitate the acquisition of land under their jurisdiction for development projects and settlement of disputes. They are also to mobilize their citizens, particularly women for communal labour, educate their communities on issues such as HIV/AIDS, government policies and puberty rights as well as mobilize funds for development. He, in this regard, stressed the need to adequately resource the queens and allow them to participate in activities of the regional houses of chiefs and be paid allowances just like the paramount chiefs. "To ensure effective participation of queen in local governance it is important to reduce their challenges", but stressed the need for them in turn, to be disciplined work as a team and find ways of resolving the numerous chieftaincy and land disputes. Neenyi Francis Tagoe, Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem(KEEA) District Director of the National Commission for Civic Education, (NCCE) said local governance was for rural people and urged queens as leaders of their communities, to endeavour to stand up to their task, and be agents of development. He pointed out that the country was still battling with chieftaincy disputes because there has been inadequate knowledge on who qualifies to be a chief and the process of the nomination, selection and installation as well as lack of documentation on the succession of chiefs. Nana Ama Amissah, president of the association in her welcoming address called on chiefs to recognize the role queens play in their installation and accord them the needed respect and support. She said queens in the region "have woken up from their sleep" and would stand up to their task and play their rightful roles as expected of them. Dr. Ahmadiel Ben Yehuda, a 'Healthy lifestyles and behavioral change specialist', who educated the queens on their health needs, stressed the health benefits of fruits, vegetables, water and exercising. He said cleanliness and rest also made one live longer, adding that due to bad lifestyles, the life expectancy of the average Ghanaian has reduced from 57 to 45 years. He said the nation was still battling with diseases such as cancer, diabetes and hypertension because of their kind of food and lifestyles, and called for a change in such habits.