21.04.2005 Politics

NCCE to encourage the poor to play role in governance

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Sunyani, April 21, GNA - Mr Michael Amponsah, Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Director of the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), on Wednesday stated that this year's celebration of the Constitution Week would be aimed at encouraging the poor and the disadvantaged to play an active and responsive role in the governance of their community. He said the celebration was also aimed at educating the people on the meaning and relevance of decentralisation and the benefit of effective participation in local governance.

Mr Amponsah was addressing a press conference organised by the Commission in Sunyani to brief the press on activities lined up for the regional celebration on April 29, to be launched at Drobo in Jaman South District.

The celebration would be under the theme: "Enhancing Citizens Participation in Local Governance for Poverty Reduction." The activities would include a regional organising committee meeting, press briefing, radio programmes and the regional launch.

Mr Amponsah said the Commission wished to change the people's focus to institutionalise civic participation mechanism at all levels of governance.

"For the nation's democracy to gain roots and be truly meaningful, citizens participation in good governance should not be limited to election participation alone," he said. Mr Amponsah said people's participation in local governance through effective participation in district assemblies would deepen the democratic culture.

The Deputy Regional Director noted that voter turnout of 83 per cent in Election 2004 indicated the level of greater interest of citizens in the democratic process.

Mr Amponsah said the Commission's strategy to attain its goals were to make the issue of participation in district assemblies the focus of the Constitution Week, to build capacity of the citizenry to be effective actors and social auditors in their localities and to galvanise the media to be central to the programme.

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