Decentralisation in Developing Countries: The Elusive Sub-national Discretionary Power and Autonomy in Ghana.

Seregious Be-ere


Decentralisation reforms have been embraced by a variety of countries irrespective of regime type or political orientation for its facilitative role in enhancing democratic participatory governance and development. This paper questions the extent to which discretionary decision-making power and autonomy have been devolved to sub-national governments as core practices in relation to decentralisation in developing countries. Using Ghana as a case, the evidence suggests that central governments have not relinquished power to sub-national governments. Through the appointment of the District Chief Executive (DCE) and 30 percent of local councillors, the centre retains power at the local level. The Local Government Act gives far-reaching authority to the District Assemblies (DAs) but in practice these powers have been restricted by other pieces of legislation requiring ministerial approval and supervision of decisions, taxation and expenditure of the DAs. This weakens downward accountability and responsiveness of sub-national leaders to the people at the grassroots. This situation is an affront to the practice of a meaningful decentralisation that can enhance democracy and development. Hence devolution in Ghana may be occurring more at the level of rhetoric than reality.

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2016 Seregious Be-ere

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


EduPedia Publications Pvt Ltd, D-351, Prem Nagar-2, Suleman Nagar, Kirari, Nagloi, New Delhi PIN-Code 110086, India Through Phone Call us now: +919958037887 or +919557022047

All published Articles are Open Access at

Paper submission: or


Mobile:                  +919557022047 & +919958037887


Journals Maintained and Hosted by

EduPedia Publications (P) Ltd in Association with Other Institutional Partners

Pen2Print and IJR are registered trademark of the Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd.