Give strong backing to the Special Prosecutor – Strikker

By Iddi Yire, GNA

Accra, Sept 29, GNA –
Mr Ron Strikker, the Dutch Ambassador to Ghana, has urged Civil Society
Organisations (CSOs) to give strong backing to the Special Prosecutor to fight
corruption.

He said despite the
resource constraints, the Office of the Special Prosecutor, could deliver on
its mandate, if given the necessary support by civil society.

Speaking at the SNV
Netherlands Development Organization’s Voice for Change Partnership (V4CP)
Programme Learning Event, in Accra, the Ambassador said, “CSOs are the
voice of citizens at local, national and international level,” and could
help make the government more accountable to citizens, to increase its
legitimacy.

He reminded them of
their vital contribution to greater social cohesion, stronger and more open
democracies.

The V4CP Programme is
an evidence-based advocacy programme being implemented by the SNV in
partnership with the International Food and Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
with funding from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The programme focuses
on generating evidence and building the capacity of CSOs in Renewable Energy,
Food and Nutrition Security and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).

Ghana having obtained
the lower middle-income status, Mr. Strikker said the traditional development
cooperation, which hinged on aid, had now changed to “Trade agenda”.

The focus should be on
strong economic development through the promotion of investment and trade.

He added the private
sector and entrepreneurship had pivotal role to play as the government created
the enabling environment through good governance and a level playing field.

He applauded President
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s drive towards “Ghana Beyond Aid” and said it was
the way forward.

He underlined the need
to do more to fight social exclusion and said doing that was as equally
important as promoting economic growth.

Without doubt,
advocacy had become a key driver of change in most areas of development across
the globe and he said the “V4CP” was a good example of that.

Dr. Owusu Afriyie
Akoto, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, in a speech read on his behalf,
said the Ministry was eager to explore any collaboration that would lead to
increased agricultural productivity and mitigation of the impact of climate
change.

“Let me use this
opportunity to confirm government’s readiness to collaborate in generating
evidence to guide the development and implementation of policies.”

Mr Harm Duiker, the
Country Director for SNV in Ghana, said in many of the districts, where they
had been operating, their partnership had been based on sanitation and hygiene,
nutrition and post-harvest losses and clean cooking interventions.

These had now been
integrated into the medium-term development plans of the Metropolitan,
Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).

“We find it
crucial because the first step to realising service delivery begins with
planning and as we continue to follow up on ensuring that these reflect in
their annual plans, we are also exploring potential funding opportunities to
support these districts in executing their plans,” he added.

Mr Eric Banye, the
Country Programme Coordinator of SNV, said after almost three years of
implementation of the programme, the Learnt Event was held to enable the share,
reflect and analyze the lessons learnt.

It was also to deepen
their partnership with relevant stakeholders such as the government departments
and agencies, private sector, media and the other CSOs in the implementation of
the 2018 activities under the Dutch Strategic Alliance Programme.

Nana Kobina Nketsia V,
the Paramount Chief of Essikado Traditional Area, urged Ghanaians to embrace
change that would lead to socio-economic development.

The V4CP programme
empowers CSOs to engage with decision-makers, and those responsible for
implementing decisions, by providing a solid evidence base, backing the
proposed changes.

The V4CP, a five year
project, is being implemented in Ghana, Burkina Faso, Honduras, Indonesia,
Kenya and Rwanda.

GNA

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