Dr Vladimir Antwi-Danso, Senior Research Fellow of the Legon Centre for International Affairs, University of Ghana, on Thursday said despite Ghana’s high democratic credentials, it was yet to attain the status of good governance.
He said democracy was a social contract between the rulers and the ruled, but for good governance to exist, the government must exhibit transparency, responsiveness, accountability, consensus-building, and effective and efficient state institutions.
Dr Antwi-Danso made the observation at a public lecture in Accra, organized by the Africa Public Policy Institute (APPI), an independent, non-partisan and non-profit policy research think-tank, in collaboration with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation.
The liberal public lecture series dubbed: “Promoting Accountable and Responsive Governance Through Citizens’ Participation,” was attended by Members of Parliament, Members of the Diplomatic Community, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), the Media, the Academia, Students and the Public.
Dr Antwi-Danso said, Ghana needed transformational, visionary and selfless leadership, in order to attain the level of good governance. .
He bemoaned the monetisation of politics in the country, declaring that such a process prevented good and genuine people from entering into politics.
He pointed out that in Ghana politics had been a conduit for personal fulfillment, and cautioned that gullibility of Ghanaians to propaganda was very dangerous to national development.
Dr Antwi-Danso further cautioned politicians against the weakening and undermining of state institutions for political gains.
He called for the transformation of the National Development Planning Commission into a permanent creation of the constitution, like the Electoral Commission, with technocrats at the helm of affairs to be in-charge of drawing the blue print for national development.
He urged the media to always hold those in government accountable to the people, and to be very circumspect in their reportage.
He also admonished CSOs to continue to help shape the destiny of the nation.
Mrs Charlotte Osei, Chairman of the National Commission on Civic Education, reminded people who are governing that it was in their own interest to be accountable to the people at all times.
She said all public office holders from the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital to the Flagstaff House had the duty to inform and to educate the people on their activities, adding that if a baby was lost, you must be able to tell the people what went wrong.
She called for the strengthening of state institutions like the Auditor General’S (AG) Department, appealing to Parliament, CSOs and the Media to give the AG’s report the same attention as the national budget.
She lamented over the over-politicization of the Ghanaian media landscape.
Professor Mike Oquaye, APPI Director, urged Ghanaians to scale up the fight against corruption, because it eroded public good, and the vulnerable suffered the more, especially women and children,
Mrs Tina Asante-Apeatu of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, urged Ghanaians to continue to show keen interest in the country’s democratic dispensation.
Dr Rose Mensah-Kutin, Executive Director of ABANTU for Development said, it was about time the country was moved beyond elections, to tackling the issues of poverty, unemployment and security, in order to improve the lives of the citizenry.