66th Annual New Year School And Conference Opens



The 66th annual New Year School and Conference has opened at the University of Ghana. The annual event is being held on the theme, ‘Improving the Performance of the Local Government System in the Era of E-Governance”. 

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Acting Chairman of the University Council, Prof. John Meyer Hyde

At the formal opening ceremony, the acting Chairman of the University Council,  Prof. John Meyer Hyde said, the New Year School will provide a platform for persons from different walks of life to come together to discuss pertinent issues that affect  the nation, and make recommendations for national development. Prof. Hyde added that decentralization has contributed greatly to Ghana’s development efforts, and it is appropriate to evaluate what has been achieved over the years. He expressed the hope that the 66th Annual New Year School will explore how best such an evaluation can be done and how the work of governance institutions at the local level can be accelerated through the use of technology.

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Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, Vice-Chancellor

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey said the University of Ghana is proud of the achievements of the Annual New Year School and Conference. He noted that the School and Conference had been successfully organised without any interruption for the past 66 years and has been a means by which the University has contributed to national development. Prof. Aryeetey indicated that the theme for the conference will provide an opportunity for the participants to examine how ICT can be used in the era of e-governance , to among other things enhance revenue collection and build capacity at the local government level.

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Rev. Prof. Cephas Omenyo, Provost of the College of Education

The Provost of the College of Education, Rev. Prof. Cephas Omenyo in the progress report said that, the Annual New Year Schools have provided the rallying point for ordinary Ghanaians to meet every year to consider topical issues and to come up with recommendations to shape national policy. On the theme, he noted that discussions will be held on the use of the Internet to improve information flow between government and its citizens and the participation of citizens in decision-making processes. He re-echoed the fact that, for Ghana to flourish and prosper in the 21st century, individuals in the country will need to become innovative users of ICT, especially at both regional and district levels.

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Hon. Julius Ameyaw Debrah, Minister for Local Government and Rural Development

The Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Julius Ameyaw Debrah said e-governance has the ability to solve numerous administrative challenges including data storage and management and facilitate decision making in local governance as well as revenue mobilisation and the effective management of resources by the MMDAs.

He said to promote good governance at the local level, it is very important for emphasis to be placed on social accountability and citizen participation. Mr. Debrah added that the Ministry has created a social accountability unit that seeks to improve citizen’s engagement with the assemblies and share their perceptions of urban management.

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Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, Minister for Education

Minister of Education, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang in a short statement said that the New Year School will provide opportunities for participants to discuss  ways to improve management and governance systems in all institutions. She added that it would also be an opportunity for learning and sharing of knowledge and discuss how the knowledge gained can be applied.

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Dr. Esther Ofei-Aboagye, Keynote Speaker

The Keynote Speaker, Dr. Esther Ofei-Aboagye, Director of the Institute of local Government Studies, stressed on the need to encourage  the application of information technology resources to the various aspects of local government operations. This she noted will ensure that critical information will be shared to stakeholders to reduce the financial and time implications of physical and manual processes.

Dr. Ofei-Aboagye called for the synchronisation of the achievements in the public sector, at the national, regional and local government levels. She further advocated that considerable resources that NGO’s and CSO’s have piloted in the different sectors should be harnessed.

The 66th Annual New Year School and Conference is being sponsored by the Airtel Ghana Limited and the German Development Cooperation.

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Ms. Lucy J. Quist, Managing Director of Airtel Ghana Limited

Managing Director of Airtel Ghana Limited, Ms. Lucy J. Quist, in a short statement, said Airtel has been a part of the event for the second year in a row and will provide free internet access to participants throughout the weeklong conference.


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A section of participants at the opening ceremony


Download the attached keynote address by Dr. Esther Oduraa Ofei-Aboagye below: