Nadowli, Feb. 6, GNA – The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Upper West Region, has lined up activities and programmes to help improve participation of the citizenry in the district level election slated for March 3.
The programmes, including focus group discussion, public education and sensitisation, are to strengthen community actions to remove barriers against the participation of women, persons with disabilities and other marginalised groups in the elections so as to deepen and consolidate Ghana’s democracy.
As part of its mandate, the NCCE organised one of such forums at Nadowli on Thursday for 40 participants comprising representatives of political parties, religious leaders, women’s groups, and people living with disability among others to deliberate and give recommendation on four thematic areas which would be presented in a community durbar.
These thematic areas include: tolerance and non violence as significant element for promoting the district level election; concerns and challenges faced by women and persons with disabilities and recommendation to improve their participation in the electoral process as well as factors that cause low voter turnout during district level election.
The European Union (EU) sponsored of the programmes with the NCCE as the implementing agency.
Mr Haruna Husheini Sulemana, Upper West Regional Director of NCCE, said Ghana is a democratic state and, therefore, it was crucial that citizens were active participants at all levels of decision making.
‘It is worth noting that any decision or action of a duty bearer is and on behalf of the citizenry and so the citizens must be active participation in this process,’ Mr Sulemana said.
He said it was common knowledge that local people could manage efficiently some administrative services better because members were drawn from that locality and had knowledge and commitments.
Mr Sulemana said participatory local governance had encouraged responsible citizenship and deepened democracy, however, the local governance system presently was characterised by executive dominance, low citizen participation, slow pace of fiscal decentralisation, low participation of women and persons with disabilities, low resource mobilisation and over dependence on the district assemblies common fund.
He also mentioned political intolerance, vote buying, misinformation, partisanship, and low voter turnout as some of the ills of the local governance system.
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