ActionAid Ghana holds workshop on African Charter

By Iddi
Yire/Lilliana Owusu-Akyem, GNA

Accra, Oct. 18, GNA – ActionAid Ghana on
Thursday held an expert meeting on Legal Analysis of the African Charter on
Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG) in Accra to promote the adherence
by states to the principles of democracy and human rights.

It is also to enhance the adherence to rule of
law premised upon the respect and the supremacy of the Constitution and
Constitutional order in the political arrangements of state parties.

The workshop is part of ActionAid Ghana’s
efforts in mobilising civil society support for implementation of the African
governance architecture, popularly known as the European Commission funded
Pan-African Project.

The project is a three-year initiative being
implemented by ActionAid in eight African countries – Ghana, Tanzania,
Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Uganda.

The objectives of the Legal Analysis include
assessing the Government’s performance and compliance on different areas of
ACDEG in providing an overview of the country’s legal framework and how it is
linked to its overall implementation.

Mr Sumaila Abdul-Rahman, the Country Director
of ActionAid Ghana, said ActionAid was promoting ACDEG’s successful
implementation in Ghana to set the country as a benchmark of political
excellence, inclusive governance and efficient decision-making structure within
Africa and the world.

He said the overall aim of the project was to
increase and strengthen the role civil society organisations played in ensuring
African Union (AU) member states were more democratic and accountable to their
citizens.

This should be in alignment with legal
instruments, institutions and process as enshrined in the African Governance
Architecture, under which the ACDEG falls.

He said ActionAid Ghana, in partnership with
ActionAid Denmark, had been working at promoting the popularity and
operationalisation of the African Governance Architecture and ACDEG to enhance
effective governance and democracy and guarantee sustainable development and
equality in Ghana and Africa in general.

Mr Abdul-Rahman noted that the ACDEG was
adopted by the AU as a roadmap in 2007 for effective governance, protection of
human rights and enhancement of democracy adding that the Government of Ghana showed
its commitment to the Charter by ratifying it three years later.

However, the promise of government to promote
the Charter had not been totally fulfilled as knowledge of ACDEG and its 53
articles had not been popularised.

He said ActionAid Ghana, in working with other
civil society organisations to promote ACDEG, had conducted a legal analysis of
the status and extent of upholding democratic principles and implementation of
the Charter in Ghana.

It also assessed the various legal frameworks
in relation to ACDEG such as the 1992 Constitution and the Electoral Commission
Act, 1993 (Act 4510).

Mrs Chris Dadzie, a Legal Practitioner/Human
Rights Advocate and Educator, said preliminary legal analysis shows that Ghana
has lots of laws that conform with ACDEG, especially in relation to governance.

She said the 1992 Constitution was replete
with almost all the laws and provisions needed to run good democratic
governance for the country.

She called for the Right to Information Bill
to be passed into law to enhance free and easy access to information. 

Madam Margaret Brew-Ward, the Advocacy and
Campaign Manager of ActionAid Ghana, said apart from the national level
activities, the NGO was also popularising the Charter in their project areas
such as the Volta, Brong Ahafo and the Upper East regions.

He said very few people in Africa knew about
the Charter, which was considered by the AU as very progressive to promote
governance and the rule of law on the Continent.

GNA

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