20.09.2005 General News

Benchmarks to assess performance of governance institutions

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Accra, Sept 20, GNA - Governance experts from various institutions in Africa, Netherlands and the United States of America, are meeting in Accra, to develop plans for implementing appropriate benchmarks and frameworks to assess the performance of key governance institutions. The two-day Accra Conference, being jointly organised by the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) and the Consortium for Development Partnership (CDP), North-Western University, United States, is the first stage of the process in the creation of an African Governance Watch.

The African Governance Watch (AFW), a four-year pilot research programme of the CDP, seeks to respond to the challenges of building the institutional capacity for governance in West Africa by developing appropriate benchmarks and frameworks for assessing the performance of key institutions of democratic governance.

Speaking on the first day of the meeting, Prof. Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi, Executive Director of the CDD-Ghana, said it was inalienable and acceptable fact that good governance had become an important factor for Africa's renewal and growth.

Citing reports from a number of institutions, including the World Bank; United Nations agencies; Africa Commission; New Partnership for Africa's Development and the Millennium Challenge Account, Prof Gyimah-Boadi said good governance had been also extolled by the African Union as pre-requisite for development.

That, he said, however, required that key governance institutions should be identified, studied to identify their strengths and weaknesses, to develop a framework to replicate success stories in other areas.

"If governance is about checking of power, then in Ghana, we have to look at institutions like the Legislature, Executive, the Judiciary, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice and the Electoral Commission," Prof Gyimah-Boadi said later, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA).

"For every country, there should be principles for the identification of those institutions, and which to prioritise," the CDD-Ghana Executive Director said.

He called for the avoidance of duplication of research projects, but noted, however, that new research projects added new dimensions and information and were slightly different from former ones. He also called for research findings to transcend political leaders and scientists to involve all stakeholders to ensure broader ownership of projects.

It was also the duty of all national development stakeholders, such as civil society and the media, and not just the political elite to absorb and utilise research information, Prof Gyimah Boadi said. 20 Sept 05

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