REPORT ON THE NATIONAL CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS’ FORUM
7 September 2018
INTRODUCTION & RATIONALE
After extensive stakeholder consultations, President Nana Akufo-Addo in his February 2018 State of the Nation Address, announced his government’s intent to amend Article 55 of the 1992 Constitution, which will enable political parties to participate in decentralized local governance through the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) and membership of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs). Apart from deepening the practice of democracy in Ghana, the participation of political parties in local governance will promote greater accountability at the local level. Currently, political parties are constitutionally prohibited from participating in district elections and although there has been a general understanding that local government officials should be elected, this has been without political parties’ involvement. It is only through participating in elections that all political parties can access the Executive arm of government albeit at the district level.
Against this backdrop, the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG) held a two-day National Civil Society Organizations’ Forum at the International Students Centre, Teiman, near Abokobi, Accra on the theme: Civil Society’s Role in Transformational Local Governance Reform in Ghana. The event took place from Wednesday, 27th to Thursday 28th June 2018. It was attended by over 130 participants drawn from representatives and leaders of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from all the ten administrative regions of Ghana; media practitioners, representatives of professional bodies, Trades Union Congress (TUC), Christian Council, Association of Ghana Industries and religious leaders.
The rationale for the forum was to create a common Civil Society platform and coordinate their activities to facilitate the implementation of President Akufo-Addo’s decision and other consequential reforms triggered by the decision.
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