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18.05.2006 General News

Ghana Chalks Up Success In Governance


Ghana consistently scored better than the average in the overall governance in Africa, the African Governance Report (AGF). One released by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa has said.

The report, released to 25 journalists participating in the Sixth African Governance Forum in Kigali, noted that governance was improving in Africa but major challenges still remained.

Mentioning South Africa and Nambia as countries which also scored better than average, the report said Kenya and Chad, among others, scored worse and below average in most areas of governance.

The three-year survey conducted in 27 African countries between 2001 and 2004 on the state of governance showed that there had been no major changes in the perception of governance trends, especially at the household level.

The research showed that there had been improvement in political governance indicators, especially compared to a decade ago.

"Many African countries now have multiparty regimes, with varying levels of stability, acceptance and legitimacy," the AGF report said.

According to the report, political systems, political party freedom, security and power distribution were indicators which scored the highest, with decentralisation, tax system efficiency and corruption scoring the lowest.

It observed that people's rights continued to be violated, whereas opposition parties lacked access to resources and security and electoral commissions were not well resourced and lacked full independence.

On economic management and corporate governance, the report registered progress in public financial management and accountability and attributed that to stronger commitment to medium term expenditure.

In terms of institutional effectiveness and accountability, the report showed that there had been a decline in the dominance of the executive in many countries.

The report said, "Corruption continues to hinder the executives effectiveness," adding that one key improvement in accountability was due to the growing number of privately owned media in many countries.

The report, therefore, called for the strengthening of judicial systems, boosting of civil service and better integration of traditional institutions into governance system.

The report called for the development of a strong and comprehensive capacity building agenda which would focus on strengthening Parliament and government institutions.

It further suggested the promotion of responsible media, tapping of potential information technology and confronting the impact of HIV/AIDS on governance.