19.12.2023 Feature Article

Five (5) reasons why Ghana needs a constitutional review and change

Five 5 reasons why Ghana needs a constitutional review and change
19.12.2023 LISTEN

No work of man is perfect. It is inevitable that, the imperfections of a written constitution will become apparent. Moreover, the passage of time will bring changes in society which a constitution must accommodate if it is to remain suitable for the nation. …………Thomas Jefferson

Ghana has often been presented as a beacon of democracy and multi- party politics in Africa. Since the entry into force of the constitution on April 28, 1992, it has successfully held consecutive presidential and parliamentary elections, enabling a peaceful transition of power between the two main parties.

The Economist Intelligence Unit's 2021 Democracy Report lists Ghana as a flawed democracy, ranking sixth in sub-Saharan Africa and 56th in the world. In the V-Dem Liberal Democracy Index 2021, Ghana was ranked fifth best in Africa and 52nd globally.

Despite these democratic achievements and decades of stability, Ghana's constitution has been criticized for loopholes that have hindered its effectiveness in achieving the country's expected good governance and development aspirations.

Adapting to a Changing Society:
Ghana's current constitution was enacted in 1992, and since then, the country has undergone significant social, economic, and demographic changes. A constitutional review and change would allow Ghana to adapt its fundamental law to address the evolving needs and challenges of its society. This could involve incorporating provisions that reflect the current cultural, technological, and social dynamics, ensuring that the constitution remains relevant and effective in this context.

Strengthening Democracy:
A constitutional review presents an opportunity to enhance democratic principles and institutions in Ghana. By revisiting the electoral system, the separation of powers, and the protection of human rights, the country can reinforce its commitment to democratic governance. This could involve reviewing the electoral process, ensuring the independence of the judiciary, and promoting inclusive participation in decision-making processes. A more robust constitutional framework can contribute to the consolidation of democratic values and practices in Ghana.

Addressing Governance and Accountability:

A constitutional review can address governance and accountability challenges within the country. By revisiting the structure and powers of government institutions, as well as mechanisms for oversight and accountability, Ghana can strengthen its governance framework. This may include provisions for transparency, anti-corruption measures, and mechanisms for citizens to hold public officials accountable. Through constitutional change, Ghana can strive for more effective, transparent, and accountable governance.

Enhancing Fundamental Rights and Freedoms:

Constitutional reform provides an opportunity to strengthen the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms in Ghana. This could involve expanding the scope of rights, ensuring greater equality and non-discrimination, and enhancing mechanisms for the protection of human rights. By updating the constitution to reflect contemporary human rights standards, Ghana can better protect the rights of its citizens and promote a more inclusive and just society.

Promoting Social and Economic Development:

A constitutional review can support efforts to promote social and economic development in Ghana. By incorporating provisions that address economic inequality, support sustainable development, and promote social welfare, the constitution can play a role in shaping policies and priorities that foster inclusive growth and development. This could involve provisions related to land rights, environmental protection, social welfare programs, and economic opportunities for all citizens. A revised constitution can provide a stronger foundation for advancing the social and economic well-being of the people of Ghana.

Overall, a constitutional review and change in Ghana can contribute to the country's progress by adapting to evolving societal needs, strengthening democratic governance, addressing governance and accountability challenges, enhancing fundamental rights and freedoms, and promoting social and economic development. This process can serve as a means to reaffirm and strengthen the values and aspirations of the Ghanaian people while responding to the demands of a rapidly changing world.

Ebenezer Asumang
[Writer & Author]
[email protected]