From the look of things, it should be necessary for authorities responsible for the dissemination of information on government policies and, activities, to intensify their work, so as to reach out to all citizens at the various levels in the society. This will enable them to create awareness on what the government is doing, or not doing, as a way of promoting good governance in the country.
This is in view of the fact that many more Ghanaian citizens are increasingly becoming concerned about democratic good governance.
CONCEPT OF GOOD GOVERNANCE
According to U.N.D.P, Good governance ensures that political, Social, and economic priorities are based on broad consensus in the society; and that the voices of the poorest and most vulnerable are heard in the decision making resources. Among the major characteristics of good governance are; Participatory, Rule of Law, Transparency and Free Flow of Information.
Dear reader, two of these principles: Transparency and Free Flow of Information will survive here.
Good governance needs transparency for fair delivery of goods and services to the citizens. It ensures balance between policy making and its enforcement. It also enables proper rules and regulation; in addition to allowing citizens to access government information regarding various policies and their implementation, freely.
In this instance, proper media should be established for an easy understanding of this information
FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION
The success of democracy is dependent on informed and active citizens. Over the years a lot of emphasis has been laid on promoting local governance. Many platforms by governments, media, and social society organizations, include voices of the people in the public policy decisions. Again, good governance can only be made if both decision makers and their constituency have access, and are able to make appropriate use of good information.
TIMELY INFORMATION FLOW ON GOVERNMENT POLICIES ACTIVITIES,
Dear readers, this write – up seeks to focus on the need of ensuring that information on government policies, activities flow freely to all citizens/ on regular basis, and on time; as good governance demands.
When citizens are fed with the right kind of information from the government regularly and on timely basis, it minimizes the incidence of propaganda, rumour mongering, gossiping, doubts, fears and peddling of untruths.
These are in addition to unnecessary arguments, insults, and lies, all in attempt to discredit the government in the minds of the uninformed and the vulnerable in the society.
On the one hand when the citizens are properly informed about activities, achievements and progress of the government, it enables the citizens to make informed decisions and choices, especially during election of leaders of the country
The crux of the matter is that during the 2016 Electioneer Champaign, the then candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and now the President of the 4th Republic of Ghana, made endless list of promises to the electorate, and even thereafter.
They included provisions of free secondary school education, “One district one factory, refurbishment of airports, interchanges, etc. Indeed, many we those who expressed doubt about these promises being able to be fulfilled now, or even in the near future.
Therefore, just one year into the President's administration, many people began to ask questions such as, “Where are the factories? “Where are the asphalt roads? etc. Some people even go to the extent of accusing the Nana-Bawumia-led government of being unfaithful, and as such, letting down the constituencies.
Few people may be playing political gimmicks with such pertinent questions, though. Yet in real sense, majority of the citizens may be very genuine in asking those questions considering the fact that, it may not be easy, or practicable for every individual to tour the constituencies to verify for himself or herself what is being done or otherwise.
The citizens have the right to know the extent to which President Nana Akufo-Addo has been able to fulfill his numerous promises made to them, since he took over the administration of the country in 2017.This is not a big deal. They are only demanding what is their responsibility and right, as active citizens in democratic society.
It could be recalled that, in 2018, when those question started filling the media landscape, Morning Show Hosts such as Yaw Amofa Boakye, Gordon Asare Bediako and Wofa Kwabena Kwakye Obotaantim of Oman FM fame made several passionate appeals to government appointees as a way of salvaging the situation for the government. The appointees were to be offered platform in order to create awareness on various stages of government projects for the citizens to be in the known.
I wonder how many of these appointees took advantage of such a rare offer. If the citizens had been made sufficiently aware of the numerous projects taking place in the constituencies at that time, perhaps, the number of votes that Nana got would have appreciated to a higher level, for obvious reasons.
DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION BY ISD
Many Senior Citizens of Post – Independence era could attest to the fact the tremendous role the Information Services Department, (ISD) played in the dissemination of information on government policies, activates and programs in the country during the First Republic under President Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in the late 1950's, and beyond.
Through the use of audio – visual, print, and face to face interaction through drama, films and talk shows, the ISD mounted on the ubiquitous cinema vans, and criss – crossed the whole country. Their mandate was to bring information on government policies, activities to the citizens, and in turn, carried feed – back to the government.
Using the cinema van the officers from Accra would come to Kraboa Coaltar in the Eastern Region and show us professionally packaged films on government activities, places of interests for excursion and the like..
Indeed, the department served as a “good and faithful messenger” between the government and the citizens.
However, it appears the department's function of touring the Communities with government's policies, activities and progammes, as of old, has slowed down a bit, of late. I stand for correction.
It is about time various questions about the progress and achievements of the government are answered not only in terms of figures, but in a more realistic manner. This is because, 'Seeing is Believing', The authorities, should identify best strategies to show case how much Nana and his government have been able to fulfill, as he promise the electorate The people cannot continue to fill let down and disappointed as far as the promises made are concerned.
It is therefore suggested that the government should provide two cinema vans to each constituency. Just as they did in the case of one constituency one ambulance. One van will be charged with the responsibility of creating awareness on government achievements and other developmental activities.
The other one van is for general functions such as information and, education on health issues, sanitation, culture skill training, digitization, as well discipline in institutions. .
Ensuring transparency and free flow of information to the people could support and enhance our democratic governance in the society.
BY ENO SARPONG KUMANKUMAAH