Welcome to Accra, a densely populated city with over 2.6 million residents as of the year 2022. As the capital of Ghana, Accra is a shining beacon and a modern metropolis with an urban area of 225.7 km² in size. The Accra Metropolitan Assembly is the largest political and administrative body in the city, administering the day-to-day challenges and implementing the policies and programmes of the Government of Ghana.
History of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly
Accra was formed from the amalgamation of various Ga villages in the region during the colonial era which developed into a prosperous trading Center. The Danes and the Dutch left the region in 1850 and 1872 due to the abolition of the slave trade, and in 1877 Accra evolved into the capital of the British Gold Coast colony from Cape Coast which was the previous Capital.
In 1898, the British government had created a municipal council which would plan and oversee the expansion and development of the capital. By the 1930s Accra was planned and laid out. Over time, the council became known as the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).
Structure and mission of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly
The Accra Metropolitan Assembly is but one of the Two Hundred and Sixty-One (261) Metropolitan and Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in Ghana. It is also among the Twenty-Nine (29) MMDAs in the Greater Accra Region.
The mission of the Assembly is to improve the quality of life of people living within the city of Accra by Providing Leadership and Opportunities for Social and Economic Development Whilst Maintaining a Clean, Attractive and Secured Environment. Like all organizations, there is a hierarchical structure.
The Accra Metropolitan Assembly has a unique structure of sixteen (16) Departments and other Units with Heads of Departments who all answer to the Metro Coordinating Director (MCD) who in turn reports to the Metro Chief Executive (Mayor). Few of the Assembly’s departments include:
The Central Administration
This department is controlled by the Metropolitan Coordinating Director (MCD) and is responsible for the implementation of governmental policies, projects and programmes at the MMDAs level.
The department attends policy expression, planning and decision- making at the Assembly. As part of its responsibilities, Central Administration acts as a liaison between Heads of other governmental and non-governmental agencies and the Mayor as well as manages financial and other resources of the Assembly in consultation with the Mayor.
The Social Welfare and community Development
Its focus is to facilitate the efficient mobilization and implementation of available human and material resources to upgrade the living standards of Individuals, Groups, Families and Communities within an effectively decentralized system of administration.
The Department of Physical Planning
This department manages the day to day running of the Department of Town and Country Planning and the Departments of Parks and Gardens. The Town and Country Planning unit oversees the offering of building permits, construction of roads as well as drains.
The parks and gardens unit is responsible for planting and maintaining the vegetation of small parks in between roads and large public parks for recreation and academic studies.
The Waste Management Department
It ensures that there are facilities, infrastructure Services and programmes for effective and efficient waste management for the improvement of environmental sanitation, the protection of the environment and the promotion of public health.
The metro transport department
This division advises the Assembly on matters relating to transport service, prohibiting and restricting the driving of general or any specified vehicles on specified roads or specified directions.
The department also regulates the use and conduct of public vehicles, including the roads and public places in accordance with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority laws, as well as provide for the identification of licensed vehicles, maintain records of classified contractors and consultants in the transport services industry within the Assembly and Establish, maintain and control parks for motor and other vehicles.
Challenges faced by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly
Like every institution, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly has its issues and problems. These problems have however not stopped them from pursuing their mandate and goals. There have been many project milestones and objectives achieved and more to achieve and the institution is poised to give out its best.
The AMA provides environmental health services by providing permits for tasks and activities such as: Hospitality and Industrial Standards enforcement, disinfection and destruction of unwholesome and potentially harmful products, environmental monitoring control, grave space acquisition, cremation of corpse, exportation of human ash or corpse and exhumation. They ensure that these activities are undertaken in a safe and minimally intrusive way.
Moreover, upon request the AMA provides solid, liquid and special waste collection and management services. Festivals, religious conventions, exhibitions and other kinds of events bring many people together and a lot of waste is generated. The AMA upon request provides waste management services for these programs.
Advisory services are also provided by the institution for members of the general public and private organizations which includes the development of waste management plans for real estate developers as well as the evaluation of proposals for waste management services.
The Assembly has long term goals of reducing its infrastructure deficit to provide better service to the people in Accra. Hence, they undertake many different projects to help accelerate the attainment of this goal. Many of these projects are opened to investors who may want to partner the Assembly. Some of these projects include:
- Construction of Engineered Landfill
- Construction of Waste Transfer Stations,
- Provision of Waste Bins,
- Provision of Assorted Sanitary Tools and Equipment,
- Construction of Motor and Sanitation Courts,
- Recycling of Solid Waste,
- Construction of Sewage Treatment Plants,
- Provision of Toilet Facilities for Schools and other Public Places.
As the population of Accra goes on to grow The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) also grows in terms of functions and responsibilities. With the inclusion of investor collaboration, the opportunities for sustainable growth are expected to increase exponentially.
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