Local government and chieftaincy Affairs

The Constitution of Ghana prevent Chiefs from interfering in political affairs, yet no law prevents politicians from influencing local chieftaincies. This desynchronization has existed for a long time and continues to negatively influence the diffusion of traditional democratic principles. Even though the powers of the chieftaincy are waning, the chiefs continue to wield immense spiritual, cultural and quasi-political powers over their constituents. They also continue to hold economic power as the custodians of all the lands considered to be part of the traditional authority. However, a collection of chieftaincy disputes has effectively undermined community developments in these areas. At the local level, the decentralized system of governance causes many problems for the central government because the local level is where central policy implementations are often seen to take place. The local government technically represents the people, but in most cases operates in a way as to please the central executive, because appointments of the Heads of these local institutions are made by the Executive arm of government. ILAPI is dedicated to looking at the role of chiefs in our contemporary political arena and the relationship between these traditional social hierarchies and our political democratic and economic institutions. In other words, we affirm that the maintenance of relationships between traditional democratic laws and federalized democratic principles is necessary in our modern times to help create a prosperous society. We strongly believe that decentralization is the heart of democracy.