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The merits of a centralized system of government

Definition of decentralization
Decentralization can be defined as the type of government in which powers of government are concentrated at the centre and exercised by a central authority.

Allows for speedy implementation of programmes
In a centralized system of government the central government has all the authority to act without having to do a wide range of consultation. The result is that when decisions are taken to implement a programmes, it is done in a swift manner and with speed.

It is useful in emergency situations
One of the other merits of centralization is that it allows for decisions to be taken in a timely manner when emergency situations arise. For example, when there is an outbreak of an epidemic, there would not be any delays in arriving at decisions on how to tackle the problem. The central government can act very fast.

It is less expensive
In a centralized system of government the budget for running the government is lean. This is because the political institutions that serve the people are not duplicated all over the nation and populated with personnel who have to be paid at the end of every monthly cycle. Not many structures are needed to house institutions. This makes the operation of a centralized system of government cheaper than other forms of government.

Promotes national unity and cohesion
In a centralized system of government the whole nations looks up to the central government as the rallying point. They therefore unite around the only government to help build the nation. Apart from that, it enhances national cohesion as various divisions are in a certain sense buried or kept to the lowest minimum.

Equitable development
A centralized system of government ensures that the nation is developed in a uniform manner. This is because the development planning is done at the centre and implemented across board. For example, a health policy of a centralized system of government could be to build one major hospital in every Regional Capital. Once this decision is taken, it is implemented in a way that benefits the entire country.

It ensures discipline
In a centralized system of government, the state has programmes that have to be implemented throughout the nation and every operative of the government is expected to implement the programme to the letter. Even if the programme has to be varied, this must receive the approval the central government before any change can be effected. Therefore, there is more discipline in the centralized system of government than a decentralized system of government.

1. a. What is centralization? [2 marks]
    b. Highlight five advantages of centralization. [10 marks]

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