12.04.2005 General News

Mission to validate APRM report on Ghana

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Wa, April 12, GNA - A forum of stakeholders was held at Wa on Monday to provide a platform to the visiting 16-member mission from the South African based African Peer Review Mission.

The forum was an opportunity to question stakeholders on a range of issues as part of its process of validating the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) report on Ghana.

Civil society organizations, chiefs, and heads of departments and women leaders attended the forum, which was organized by the National African Peer Review Mechanism (NAPRM) governing council. In his address, Dr Francis Appiah, executive secretary of the NAPRM- governing council appealed to stakeholders, who would be answering questions from members of the mission to be as candid and objective as possible so as to help the mission prepare a credible and accurate assessment on Ghana.

He said the team had already held similar interaction with stakeholders in the Eastern and Volta regions at Ho as well as those in the Western and Central regions in Cape Coast.

Dr Bernard Kouassi, deputy leader of the mission, who is also the executive secretary of the APRM secretariat in South Africa said the aim of their interaction was to find out consistencies or otherwise of maters under investigation by the mission.

He said in addition, the team was also seeking clarifications on the expectations of Ghanaians.

Dr Kouassi also explained that the mission was also seeking to find out what was best in the report and which areas need to be improved. Some of the questions put to the audience by members of the mission boarded on democracy and good governance, separation of powers, the rule of law and political pluralism.

Other questions were on chieftaincy and peaceful succession, decentralization and efficient service delivery by public enterprises. Among the questions asked by members of the validation mission, it was the area of decentralization that attracted the most contributors, as contributor after contributor painted the country's decentralization system as a virtual failure as the centre in Accra still make the decision affecting the districts.

In addition, the centre is not willing to share the power and privileges it had enjoyed all these years, thereby rendering the decentralization system ineffective.

Mr Ambrose Dery, Upper West Regional Minister, who chaired the function, said Ghana being the first country to subject itself to the African Peer Review process was in consonance with government's commitment to open governance and accountability to the people. He therefore, hoped that the outcome of the validation exercise would make Ghana a model for the rest of the continent.

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