IEA, UNDEF Embark On Project To Enrich Constitution
As part of its efforts to entrench constitutional rule in Ghana, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), with support from the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF), has begun a two-year project on the theme, “Giving Voice to the Voiceless in Ghana’s Constitution Review Process”.
The project, which aims at offering vulnerable and marginalised groups in society the opportunity to contribute their views to Ghana’s Constitution review exercise, has already taken place in Tamale and Kumasi.
To give meaning to this project and to ensure that the views and concerns of the target groups are captured, an 11-member Constitution Review Coalition made up of representatives of a broad section of the marginalised groups has been launched.
Members of the coalition include: the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC), Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC), Abantu for Development, Federation of the Disabled, political parties with parliamentary representation, Christian Council of Ghana, Child Research and Resource Centre (CRESCENT).
The coalition, which will meet at least once a month, will prepare research papers on key constitutional issues, review and discuss recommendations from the research, interact with target groups, engage the public and members of the Constitution Review Commission on the findings of the survey and opinions flowing from the regional workshop, and undertake public education and advocacy on recommendations reached.
It was hoped that at the end of the process the constitution would reflect the collective will of the people, a statement issued by IEA said.
At the Kumasi workshop, Nana Darko Montwi, Paramount Chief of the Mabang Traditional Area, was the Chairman. There were Akan and sign language interpreters to facilitate discussions, while participants discussed a wide range of issues pertaining to the Constitution with enthusiasm.
The participants, numbering over 300, were made up of the physically challenged, traders, farmers, religious groups, youth groups, women’s groups, traditional leaders and a cross section of society.
There was a strong focus on Ghana’s Legislature by participants, with some of the issues discussed at the workshop being the constitutional provision for all Ministers of State to be appointed from Parliament in order to reduce the workload of ministers of state.
At the end of the programme, participants expressed gratitude for the opportunity to make their views on the Constitution and its review known.