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26.05.2004 General News

Gov't to support civil societies to check corruption

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Koforidua, May 26, GNA - The Eastern Regional Minister, Dr Francis Osafo Mensah has stressed that the government in line with its policy of zero tolerance for corruption, will give civil society organisations the necessary support and cooperation in their monitoring and evaluation endeavours.

This, he explained would go a long way to support Government to uncover and route out hidden nation wreckers in the society. This was contained in a speech read on his behalf at a two-day Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) and the implementation of the Ghana HIPC Watch project educational workshop for civil society organisations drawn from the districts of the Eastern Region at Koforidua on Wednesday.

The GHW project is to enhance effective education, training and promoting participatory monitoring and evaluation of HIPC funded projects at the district levels.

The workshop being organised by the Social Enterprise Development Foundation (SEND) of West Africa in collaboration with Awisa Women Self Help Association (AWISA) and Women in Agro Technology (AFROTECH), aimed at sensitising the various civil organisations to actively participate and contribute towards policy making on poverty reduction strategies and programmes at the local level.

Dr Osafo Mensah noted that the government's efforts to improve living standards of the people through the provision of social infrastructure and eradication of disease, ignorance and poverty would not make any meaningful impact if the country does not have peace and stability.

He hoped that the workshop would not only serve as a channel for enlightening of the GPRS but also strengthen the partnership process between Government and the civil society organisations towards the attainment of the socio-economic development of the nation.

Dr Osafo Mensah commended the SEND Foundation and other civil society organisations for their role in the developmental process and pledged that government will not hesitate to give them a free hand to contribute their quota to the task through service provision, monitoring and evaluation.

He said the government will continue to efficiently manage the national economy to enhance wealth creation through good governance, human development, increased production, sound economic management and involvement of private sector in national development.

Ms Harriet Yeboah, advocacy officer, Ghana HIPC Watch Project (GHW), expressed the hope that the workshop would build the capacity of civil society on the GPRS to enhance their in-depth knowledge and understanding into the country's development agenda to enable them contribute effectively for the monitoring and evaluation of government programmes and projects.

She explained that the decision of SEND Foundation to embark on the GHW was based on the government's decision to go HIPC to enable it reduce poverty levels in the country, which resulted in the introduction of the GPRS document.

It is from this document that civil society is given the mandate to play a watchdog role to facilitate transparency and accountability in the country, she said, adding that, SEND Foundation therefore saw the need to work in partnership with other NGOs and the local government in attaining these objectives.

She noted with appreciation the cordial relationship existing between the district HIPC Monitoring Committees (DHMCs) established by the SEND Foundation and the district assemblies.

Ms Yeboah said the workshop would also establish and strengthen the participatory monitoring capacity of NGOs so that they can collaborate with SEND Foundation and district assemblies to carry out monitoring and evaluation of the impact of the GPRS on the livelihood, security and welfare needs of the poor in the society.

She said the GHW project had chalked a number of successes through the organisation of regional education and training workshops in the Northern sector to create awareness on GPRS which was attended by 150 civil societies, establishment of Ghana HIPC update newspaper and setting up of DHMCs in 25 participating districts. May 26, 04

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