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20.03.2009 Politics

APRM District Oversight Committees in Upper East Region inaugurated


The National African Peer Review Mechanism Governing Council (NAPRM-GC) has inaugurated APRM District Oversight Committees (DOCs) in all the nine districts in the Upper East Region.

Builsa, Kassena-Nankana and Kassena-Nankana West Oversight Committees, were inaugurated in Navrongo, Bolgatanga Municipal, Bongo and Talensi-Nabdam Districts in Bolgatanga while Bawku Municipal, Bawku-West and Garu-Timpane Districts were inaugurated in Bawku.

Reverend Professor S.K. Adjepong, Chairman of the National Governing Council, inaugurated the committees at Navrongo and Bawku while Most Rev. Dr. Paul Bemile, Catholic Bishop of Wa, inaugurated the committees at Bolgatanga.

Dr Francis Appiah, Executive Secretary of the Governing Council, took all the members through the principles of APRM, roles and responsibilities of members of the Oversight Committees and misconceptions about the APRM.

Rev. Prof. Adjepong walked the members through the birth of NEPAD and APRM, the significant role of the communities in the preparation of the Annual Progress Report on Ghana by the APR FORUM in South Africa.

He further explained the different stages of the Peer Review process and emphasized the voluntary nature of the APRM.

Dr Appiah said the APRM was a non-partisan development process, a new chapter in governance and a change in the mindset in Africa.

He said under the process, people at the grassroots found their voice and collectively agreed to break the cycle of under-development to enter the new Africa where democracy, accountability and respect for human rights and the rule of law prevailed.

Dr Appiah said the APRM made some achievements for the improvement of governance in the country adding that President Mills' State of the Nation Address touched on a number of APRM-related subjects.

They included reduction in number of ministries, the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority, School Feeding Programme, Freedom of Information Bill and the establishment of the Disability Council.

He congratulated the members for their commitment to national development and urged them to ensure consensus-building, transparency, credibility, and objectivity reminding of their special challenge to work harder to bring lasting peace to the area.

Mr Mark Woyongo, Upper East Regional Minister congratulated the Governing Council for decentralizing the APRM to bring practical change to popular participation by empowering the people at the grassroots.

He expressed appreciation for the inauguration in Bawku where ethnic conflicts and clashes had existed.

Mr Woyongo noted that when communities understood the principles and values behind the APRM and work with them, poverty would be reduced and misunderstandings replaced by unity, peace and security, respect for human rights and good governance.

He pledged government's support to the APRM in its efforts to transform the fortunes of the African continent.