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29.11.2005 General News

Get involved in NAPRM - Public urged

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Busua (W/R), Nov 29, GNA - The National African Peer Review Mechanism (NAPRM-GC), is a people oriented activity that requires the active participation of all, Professor (Reverend) Samuel Kojo Adjepong, Chairman of the Governing Council of the NAPRM, said on Tuesday.

He was speaking at a workshop for the Mpohor Wassa East, Ahanta West and Nzema East Districts at Busua near Takoradi, organised by the NAPRM- GC in collaboration with the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Prof Adjepong who is the Principal of the Methodist University College said, "Civil society, traditional rulers, religious bodies, market women, farmers, professional bodies and other groups have been charged with the responsibility for monitoring Government under the mechanism to ensure that promises are kept".

He said Ghana was the first country to submit itself to the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and the first to present its report to the APRM Heads of State and urged Ghanaians to team up with NAPRM-GC to promote good governance and sustainable development in Ghana. Professor Adjepong pointed out that the APRM process was initiated in March 2003 when Ghana volunteered to be the first country to be Peer Reviewed and NAPRM-GC inaugurated to oversee the implementation. He stated that the workshop was to demystify the concept and said that the Governing Council was collaborating with the NCCE to educate the people on the Mechanism.

Similar workshops had been held at Jirapa, Bawku, Savelugu, Sogakope, Bechem, Mamponteng and Suhum to create awareness and educate the people on the implementation and their role in the monitoring and evaluation of the process.

Dr Francis Acquah, Executive Secretary of the APRM-GC, speaking on the "Purpose of African Peer Review (APR) and the General Overview of the APR Process," said it was an African self-monitoring system.

Under it participating countries should submit themselves to internal audit or national self-assessment of their political, economic, corporate and socio-economic governance by their citizens while an independent panel of the African Union (AU) would conduct an external audit or verification of the self-assessment.

He said in addition to the self-assessment report, a country had to prepare a Programme of Action (PoA) to address shortcomings in the assessment.

Dr Acquah stated that the APRM review and assessment was based on democracy and good political governance, economic governance and management, corporate governance and socio-economic development based on a questionnaire developed by the AU.

Mr Kwaku Baa Owusu, Western Regional Director of the NCCE, said how to sensitise Ghanaians to be independent thinkers and actors on critical issues of democracy and political good governance and socio-economic development, was a challenge of the Commission.

He pointed out similarities between focus areas of the APRM and the 1992 constitution.

Prof Adjepong later inaugurated District Review Committees for the three districts.

Professor Miranda Greenstreet, a member of NAPRM-GC, said the APRM would enable the country to formulate long-term development plans, adding that, it was imperative for every Ghanaian to get involved in the mechanism.

She stated that consultations for the review should be held in communities, Churches, Mosques and market places and suggestions submitted to the District Review Committees. Mr Isaac Owusu-Appiah, Principal Programme Officer in-charge of Stakeholders spoke on "Process in the Implementation of the APRM in Ghana".