Koforidua, July 30, GNA - The Eastern Regional Minister, Dr Francis Osafo-Mensah has called on Ghanaians to make suggestions that would enable the country to benefit from the implementation of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).
Opening the Eastern Regional APRM stakeholders' forum at Koforidua on Friday, Dr Osafo-Mensah asked the people to take advantage of the forum and the country's self-assessment process to make meaningful suggestions.
The forum organized by the National Governing Council of the APRM, on regional basis, was aimed at galvanizing the people to participate in the implementation of the APRM to make them the owners of the process of assessing the performance of key institutions in the country that support democracy and good governance.
The APRM is part of the continuing process under the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) policy, aimed at entrenching the moral significance of democracy and good governance in African countries. Ghana subsequently asked to be the first country to be reviewed by member states of the African Union (AU) and the regional forums are part of the process of self-assessment to identify the nation's weaknesses, opportunities and strengths and to find solutions where it fell short. Stressing the need for a national change of attitude to move the nation forward, Dr Osafo-Mensah cited the media as one institution that had focused its searchlight principally on politics and relegating other sensitive socio-economic issues.
He said, "Ghana could not move forward if all we think and do is to discuss politics and thereby dumping social issues to the background". The Regional Minister, who is the MP for Mpraeso, called for an unconditional support for policies such as those on ARPM and urged Ghanaians to embrace such issues devoid of partisan bickering. The Executive Secretary of the National Governing Council (GC) of the APRM, Dr Francis Appiah, said NEPAD sought to find ways to involve the citizenry in the democratic as well as the African ownership of the Continent's development agenda to lift it from the economic doldrums it found itself.
The APRM, he said, was also to identify, evaluate and disseminate the best practices in governance, identify deficiencies and make recommendations to address the issues.
He called for the support and co-operation of the participants to make the process a success.
The Rev. Professor S.K. Adjepong, Chairman, Professors Miranda Greenstreet, Dr S.K.B. Asante and Mr Nutifafa Kuenyehia, members of the GC, attended the forum.
Among those, who participated in the forum were Nana Adjei Tufour, Krontihene of the New Juaben Traditional area, Queenmother of Koforidua, Nana Yaa Dani, District Chief Executives, Service Commanders and civil society organizations.