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14.04.2004 General News

MMDE to blacklist and sanction NGOs ....

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that fail to meet deadline - Accra, April 14, GNA - Mr. John Bennam, Deputy Minister of Manpower Development and Employment (MMDE) on Wednesday said the Ministry would blacklist and sanction all Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) which fail to submit their annual reports and accounts to the Ministry by the end of March.

He said the move was not to control or regulate the activities of these NGOs, but to ensure that they worked within the confines of government policy and agenda.

Mr. Bennam made this statement at the opening of a three-day workshop for NGOs and Civil Society Organizations (CSO) on capacity-building in Accra.

The workshop, which aimed at strengthening the capacity-building of NGOs was on the theme: "Strengthening the relationship between the government and NGO's and Civil society: A participatory approach". The workshop, also one in a series to be organized in all the 10 regions of the country was funded by the African Development Bank (ADB). Mr Bennam said the reports and accounts of the NGOs would serve as inputs to ensure effective monitoring and also provide a database of active NGOs in the country.

The Deputy Minister said the measure would help in streamlining the activities of NGOs in accordance with the developmental goals of the country.

He said the Ministry was also drawing up a strategy to strengthen its oversight role so as to properly co-ordinate the activities of NGOs in the country.

Mr. Bennam further said despite the immense contributions of NGOs, it was generally acknowledged that while a few local NGOs were credible, competent and efficient in their development approaches, many others were inexperienced, inefficient and lacked the capacity to fulfil their objectives.

He said realising these shortcomings and being conscious of the importance of NGOs and CSOs in national development, the ministry in 1997 submitted a request to ADB for financial support to enhance the relationship between government and those institutions. In all, 60 participants drawn from various NGOs and CSOs in the Greater Accra, Central and Volta regions are attending the workshop.