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06.04.2005 General News

Fifth Constitution Week fixed for April 28 to May 4

By GNA

Accra, April 6, GNA - The Fifth National Constitution Week will be celebrated from April 28 to May 4, this year, to ensure that the content of the document is embossed in the minds and hearts of Ghanaians in pursuit of democracy and good governance.

Mr Laary Bimi, Chairman of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), who made this known to the Ghana News Agency in an interview on Tuesday, said the week would focus on the active participation of the people in local governance, through effective district assembly structures, to ensure that democratic culture is deepened.

The Fifth Constitution Week is on the general theme: "Reducing Poverty Through Citizens' Participation in Local Government" and would be used as a platform for the entrenchment of democratic politicking and enhancement of citizens' participation in multi-party democratic governance.

Mr Bimi explained that the broadening of participatory democratic governance would reflect the preferences of the citizens to accelerate poverty reduction.

He said youth groups, students, women and traditional rulers would be empowered to understand the operations of the local government structures.

Civic and participatory skills on ways to effectively use the district assemblies would be taught to community and opinion leaders as well as other identifiable groups to make the citizens the social auditors of their local government functionaries. Explaining the rational for the celebration Paapa Nketia, NCCE Director of Public Affairs, told the GNA that the aim was to create an increased and sustained interest and participation of all Ghanaians in the new democratic dispensation for the achievement of good governance, social and political stability for national unity and development. April 28 has been adopted as the date to commence the week activities because it was on that day that a national referendum was held to endorse the Constitution in 1992.

He appealed for local and international support for the celebration to ensure that constitutionalism was entrenched.

Paapa Nketia reiterated his call for institutionalisation of a National Constitution Week on the national calendar and called on the private and public sectors to support efforts at making it possible. "This will be a period when the entire Ghanaian community would participate in discussions, debates, theatre performances and other activities on the Constitution to ensure that it becomes a living document embodied in the mind and heart for the attainment of democracy and good governance."

Paapa Nketia also appealed to the media to adopt pragmatic programmes aimed at sensitising and educating the general public on the Constitution and how it affected them.

He urged the media to be interested in the Constitution Week and the promotion of constitutional awareness among the populace.

"This is because the survival of democracy is not based only on the conduct of elections," he said.

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