STAR-Ghana, a multi-donor organization has released some US$ 4,837,562 to support the efforts of 45 local civil society organizations in promoting peaceful, transparent and fair elections in the country in December.
Speaking at a press conference in Accra Tuesday afternoon, the Programs Manager for STAR-Ghana, Lawrencia Adams indicated that the funds had been distributed to civil society organizations as well as non-state actors who are committed to ensuring a smooth transition of power after the December polls.
STAR-Ghana in November 2011 requested for proposals from civil society organizations and non-state actors interested in undertaking interventions aimed at enhancing transparency in activities leading up to the conduct of the general elections in December 2012.
The proposals were expected to show commitment towards increasing the accountability and responsiveness of key stakeholders such as the Electoral Commission, the Judiciary, Security Services and Political parties towards the outcome of the December elections.
Applicants were expected to be legally registered Ghanaian civil society organizations with at least a three-year proven track record in election related activities as well as present issues-based proposals devoid of political activities or interventions.
Out of a total of 99 applications received, 45 organizations working at the community and national levels, in the areas of media, research and policy advocacy as well as civil society coalitions and private sector associations spread across the country were shortlisted.
The shortlisted organizations have since been presented with funding ranging from US$ 30,000 to US$ 300,000 for the execution of their projects. They will be monitored to ensure they use the money for what was stated in their proposals.
Believing Ghana has made significant gains in its democratic governance which has earned it praise at both the international and regional levels, STAR-Ghana hopes the election initiative will support the consolidation of these gains through the critical involvement and participation of civil society.