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Frederick Bourne Commission – Reason for Establishment and Recommendations

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The Frederick Bourne Commission was one of the key commissions set up by the colonial government in the Gold Coast in the run-up to the attainment of independence.

This tutorial provides you with clear answers to two important WASSCE questions about the Frederick Bourne Commission. The questions are:

  • What was the reason for the establishment of the Frederick Bourne Commission?
  • Outline the recommendations made by the Frederick Bourne Commission.

The reason for the Frederick Bourne Commission

Following the National Liberation Movement’s (NLM’s) demand for a federal system of government in 1954, the Secretary of State in charge of the colonies, Lennox Boyd, appointed a sole commissioner, Sir Frederick Bourne to serve as a constitutional advisor to determine whether Ghana should adopt a unitary or federal system of government.

The recommendations of the Frederick Bourne Commission

Here are the recommendations of the one-man Frederick Bourne Commission

1. The Frederick Bourne Commission recommended a unitary system of government for Ghana, considering the relatively small size of the country.

2. The Frederick Bourne Commission also noted that a federal system of government would result in sectionalism and regionalism which could undermine both national unity and economic development.

3. The Frederick Bourne Commission recommended the establishment of Regional Assemblies to promote and protect regional interests in the fields of education, health, agriculture and rural development.

4. Sir Frederick Bourne recommended the devolution of powers. The central government would retain supreme legislative authority but the regions would be given delegated powers that would enable them to execute their functions at the local level.

5. The commission further recommended that Regional Assemblies should act as a link between the central and local governments for the coordination and implementation of government policies and also to remove excessive centralization

6. Also, the powers granted to the regional assemblies should be guaranteed in the 1957 independence constitution.

7. The Frederick Bourne Commission recommended the continued recognition of traditional rulers to enable them to play an effective role in the development of their communities

8. The commission also recommended the creation of an adequate number of District Councils.

9. Finally, the Frederick Bourne Commission recommended that Regional Houses of Chiefs be made to perform advisory roles in the Regional Assemblies.

Thank You.

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