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Reflecting on Civil Societys Evolution in Ghana over the Last 50 Years

La Palm Royal Beach Hotel, Accra, Ghana 8-9 November, 2007

Regional Seminar

Reflecting on Civil Societys Evolution in Ghana over the Last 50 Years

REGIONAL SEMINAR

Contents
List of Acronyms ...................................................................................................................... 1 Executive Summary .................................................................................................................. 2 Introduction ........................................................................................................................... 4 Background ............................................................................................................................. 6 Donor/Civil Society Relations and the Effectiveness of Aid in Ghana ................................................. 9 Civil Societys Role in the Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals ................................... 12 Linkages between Civil Society and Traditional Systems of Governance ............................................ 15 The Role of Civil Society in Peace-building and Conflict Prevention in West Africa ............................. 17 The State of the Ghanaian Media .............................................................................................. 20 Regional Collaborations towards Democracy, Peace and Security in the Sub-region ........................... 23 Civil Society and Private Sector Relations ................................................................................... 25 Womens Role in Ghana: Past, Present and Future........................................................................ 28 Safeguarding Human Rights in Ghana........................................................................................ 31 Conclusion ............................................................................................................................ 33 Appendices ........................................................................................................................... 35 COMMUNIQU: Regional Seminar on Reflecting on Civil Societys Evolution in Ghana over the Last 50 Years La Palm Beach Hotel, Accra, Ghana; November 8 9, 2007 .......................................................... 36 Agenda Day 1 ..................................................................................................................... 38 Agenda Day 2 ..................................................................................................................... 39 List of Participants ................................................................................................................. 40

Reflecting on Civil Societys Evolution in Ghana over the Last 50 Years

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List of Acronyms
AU BUSAC CDD CEPA CHRAJ CSOs DFID DVC ECOWAS EPA EU FGM FIDA FOSDA GAPVOD African Union Business Advocacy Challenge Centre for Democratic Development Centre for Policy Analysis Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice Civil Society Organisations Department for International Development Domestic Violence Coalition Economic Community of West African States Economic Partnership Agreements European Union Female Genital Mutilation Federation of Women Lawyers Foundation for Security and Development in Africa Ghana Association of Private Voluntary Organisations in Development Ghana Integrity Initiative Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy Ghana Research Advocacy Programme Ghana Trade and Livelihoods Coalition International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty Institute for democratic Governance Institute of Economic Affairs International Financial Institutions International Non-Governmental Organisations Integrated Social Development Centre KAIPTC MDBS MDGs MMYE NCA NEPAD NETRIGHT NGOs NMC NUGS OSIWA PRSP RAVI SYTO TWN UN UNCT UNDP USAID WACSI WACSOF WADR WANEP WASU Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre Multi-Donor Budgetary Support Millennium Development Goals Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment National Communications Authority New Partnership for Africas Development Network for Womens Rights in Ghana Non-Governmental Organisations National Media Commission National Union of Ghana Students Open Society Institute of West Africa Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper Rights and Voice Initiative Student and Youth Travel Organisation Third World Network United Nations United Nations Country Team United Nations Development Programme United States Agency for International Development West Africa Civil Society Institute West Africa Civil Society Forum West African Democratic Radio West Africa Network for Peacebuilding West African Students Union

GII GPRS G-RAP GTLC ICISS IDEG IEA IFI INGOs ISODEC

Reflecting on Civil Societys Evolution in Ghana over the Last 50 Years

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Executive Summary
The West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) established by the Open Society for West Africa (OSIWA) and the United Nations Development Programmes Civil Society Resource Centre in Ghana in collaboration with the Ghana Association of Private Voluntary Organisations in Development (GAPVOD) organised a two day Regional Seminar on the theme Reflecting on Civil Societys Evolution in Ghana over the Last 50 Years in Accra, Ghana from the 8-9 November, 2007. The objective of the seminar was to provide a platform for a cross-section of over 100 civilsociety actors to reflect on the progress, challenges and future of civil society in Ghana. Participants at the seminar were drawn from Ghana and across the West African sub-region and included government representatives, donor agencies and organisations, UN agencies, international non-governmental organisations and the private sector.
The following recommendations emerged from the seminar: National Level
Government should hasten the implementation and achievement of the MDGs. Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) should systematically be involved in the monitoring and evaluation of progress made on issues such as poverty, HIV/ AIDS and gender equality in the MDGs. Comprehensive documentation should be carried out on civil societys contribution in Ghana, for ease of reference and to build credibility. Mobilisation and active engagement of civil society in pre-election advocacy, election monitoring and observation particularly during the upcoming 2008 Ghanaian elections. Donor agencies and organisations should ensure that their relationships with civil society are not only financial but practical as well, by engaging CSOs in the realisation of their work as well as their impact in Ghana. The principles which underpin the relations between civil society and donors require clear definition. Civil society should take strategic steps to negotiate with donors in this direction. Civil society must redefine its position and continuously evaluate its operations in areas of accountability, transparency and internal governance. The capacity of Ghanaian civil society should

Presentations and panel discussions at the seminar covered the following key thematic areas:
The emergence of structured civil society in Ghana Civil societys role in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Linkages between civil society and traditional systems of governance Human rights in Ghana The state of the Ghanaian media The role of women in Ghanas past, present and future Civil society and private sector relations in Ghana Donor/Civ i l societ y relat ion s a nd t he effectiveness of aid Regional collaborations to democracy, peace and security in the sub-region Peace and conflict resolution in West Africa

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be strengthened to mediate in conflict through conflict resolution training, mediation services and dialogue facilitation. Civil society must also work to alleviate social tensions by challenging racism, xenophobia and discrimination, whilst promoting tolerance and a culture of peace. Civil society must advocate for National Broadcasting legislation, to regulate the sector. Private sector and civil society alliances should be forged for community development. C ol l a b o r at io n s b e t we e n c iv i l s o c ie t y organisations working on human rights and government agencies such as the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) should be forged and sustained. Civil society should use the inf luence and potential of the traditional systems of governance to make significant inroads in the areas of HIV/ AIDS, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), and violence against women.

advocacy, campaigns and protests. These would have the effect of making the government and state structures more responsive to the needs of their citizenry. There is a need for civil society to improve their knowledge base of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), its provision for CSOs and its workings in areas of peace and security. Sta keholders shou ld be engaged in t he functionality of the ECOWARN1. There should be formation of sub-groups on thematic areas to forge stronger engagements in sub regional activities.

Monitoring and Evaluation Activities


Equal Opportunities Commissions, Gender Commissions, the media, civil society and research institutions should be watchdogs monitoring the implementation of the MDGs and the implementation of regional and international mechanisms.

Regional Level
Civil society in Ghana must continue to play a critical role in peace-building and the prevention of conf licts across West Africa bearing in mind Ghanas historical background. Issues of structural violence must be tackled by promoting human security through initiatives for social and economic development. Other activities include human rights monitoring, promotion of the rule of law, prevention of environmental degradation, participation in political processes, policy dialogue, mentoring,

Capacity Building Activities


St reng t hen i ng of t he col laborat ion of networks across the region through training programmes. Legal and judicial awareness must be developed in Ghana through the setting up of a Peoples Law School. Build the capacity of civil society on legal issues and governmental policies on the implementation of international charters and protocols.

The ECOWARN is essentially an information system operating from hub (Abuja) and receiving information from ECOWASs sub regional platform in Ouagadougou, Monrovia, Banjul and Cotonou. The system functions through a collaboration between ECOWARN and the West Africa Network for Peace-building (WANEP), where the national WANEP chapters feed information into the elaborate warning system via the sub regional hubs. The system faced challenges of conveying information in a timely manner from the field monitors on the ground to the situation room in Abuja, where the reports are analysed and passed to the Commissioner and then the President of the Commission. This lengthy process, caused delays and often by the time action is taken, it is no longer early warning.

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Introduction
The WACSI established by the Open Society for West Africa (OSIWA) and the United Nations Development Programmes Civil Society Resource Centre in Ghana in collaboration with the Ghana Association of Private Voluntary Organisations in Development (GAPVOD) organised a two-day Regional Seminar on the 8th-9th of November 2007 on the following theme-Reflecting on Civil Societys Evolution in Ghana over the Last 50 Years in Accra, Ghana.
Key opening statements made by dignitaries are summarised below. Honourable Mrs. Frema Osei Opare, Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment (MMYE).
olidarity statements were given at t he opening ceremony by t he Deput y Minister, wh ich crit ica l ly se t t he tone for discussions on how well Ghanaian civil society organisations contributed and would continue to contribute to fostering democracy, governance, peace and socioeconomic development in Ghana. She reiterated the Ghanaian governments support to civil society in issues of transparency and accountability, partnerships in skills training, and improving the regulatory framework for the operation of civil society organisations. The Deputy Minister also mentioned the restructuring of the Department of Social Welfare to play a central role in addressing the social and development needs of target groups in the society. The Deputy Minister however noted that civil society must endeavour to address its accountability issues as it is of grave concern to donors, government and most importantly their constituents. She concluded her address by stating that CSOs should respond positively to the participatory process that the government has adopted to develop a law to guide the operations of CSOs.

The seminar created a regional platform for different stakeholders and policy makers in the subregion to re-examine strategies for strengthening collaborations. Also reviewed were the following: progress made by governments and civil society in addressing issues of human rights, the attainment of gender equity, the realisation of the MDG obligations, enhancement of the role of the media as an integral part of civil society, the evolution of donor/civil society relations, as well as CSO roles in peacemaking, conflict prevention and postsettlement peace building. The meeting further provided an opportunity for representatives of civil society to share best practices and experiences in preparation for their contributions over the next fifty years.

The main objectives of the seminars were:


1. To provide a platform for a cross-section of actors to reflect on the progress, challenges and future of civil society in Ghana; 2. To identify strategies for strengthening collaborations and partnerships amongst civil society organisations in Ghana; and 3. To evaluate and improve the relationships between civil society and other sectors, e.g. private sector, donor agencies and government.

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Ms. Thelma Ekiyor, Executive Director of WACSI

Dr. Ozonnia Ojielo, Representative of the UNDP Country Office in Ghana

n her welcome address, Ms Ekiyor highlighted the fact that the seminar was organised not only to assess the role of civil society in the last fifty years, but also to strategise for the next fifty years. She identified the need to answer the practical as well as conceptual questions of who and what CSOs are. The answers to these questions in her opinion would considerably enhance the future ac t iv it ie s of t he CSO community. She further acknowledged the extensive role that Ghanaian civil society organisations have played in the areas of governance, gender and human rights. There was therefore the need for accountability, transparency, self regulation and confidence building by CSOs in a proactive manner. The Executive Director recognised the presence of the West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) and the West African Democratic Radio (WADR) and confirmed that they and WACSI collaborated together on a regional level as a means of projecting a positive civil society image in the sub-region. WACSI was therefore committed to strengthening the institutional and technical capacity of CSOs to engage in policy formulation, implementation and the promotion of democratic values and principles in West Africa.

r. O jielo noted t hat civil society was a n i ntegra l pa r t of U N DP s work in Ghana. The centrality of CSOs to the mission of the United Nations (U N) led to t he setting up of a Civil Society Resource Centre, managed by UNDP country office in Ghana. The UN had also set up an advisory panel to establish the best ways of engaging with CSOs as key partners in the development process. The MDGs currently face huge obstacles and its objectives could only be fully achieved with the tenacious efforts of civil society. UNDPs partnership with civil society was to ensure that the role of CSOs was not restricted in policy making and development programmes. Dr. Ojielo stated that there was undoubtedly the need for institutionalised and not ad-hoc partnership with government as a technical pilot of quality dialogue in terms of development plans. Currently, UNDP Ghana was partnering with CSOs for the creation of web pages as part of the larger database of credible CSOs. There were plans for the conduct of a High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in September 2008 and collaborations for the upcoming Ghana elections in December 2008.

Mr. Kofi Adu, Executive Secretary, GAPVOD


r. Adu re-emphasised the fact that the seminar was meant to create a roadmap for the advancement of CSOs in the next fifty years. The seminar was also intended to analyse the challenges facing CSOs as its role in Ghana evolved, bearing in mind the negative image held of CSOs by a small percentage of the public.

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Background
Partnerships with civil society organisations are no longer an option but a necessity Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General. It is people mobilised as you are, more than any government initiatives or scientific breakthrough, who can overcome the obstacle to a better world the civil society movement continues to grow and make its mark. Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General, Civil Society Forum, Brazil, June 13, 2004.
police, who were agents of the colonial rulers by presenting their case against the police to the traditional rulers. In 1938, associations of indigenous cocoa producers organised a successful protest against the monopoly of the commodity market by the expatriate-controlled association of West African Merchants.

The independence period and after


There were large number of voluntary self-help associations, dating as far back as the interwar period and expanding rapidly in the period after World War II and independence in 1957. The struggle for freedom and justice that eventually led to independence was largely fought by civil society organisations represented by youths and student groups, political movements, traditional rulers, etc. Since the military overthrow of Ghanas first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in 1966, Ghana has seen a mix of military dictatorships and civilian government with civil society leading the struggle for return to civilian rule. The growth of Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the 1980s caused tensions and suspicion between the government and these organisations. The perceptions of NGOs as puppets of foreign governments through the umbilical cord of donor funding was rife at this time. This perception gradually changed as many NGOs became recognised as credible think tanks, research institutions, community organisers and human rights advocates. Thus civil society in Ghana had become a key player in strengthening and deepening state-society relations. This was done through civil society activities in linking citizens to the state through formal and informal bridging mechanisms, as well as bonding citizens

Prof. Kwesi Jonah presenting the keynote

Civil society has played various roles in Ghanas history and political metamorphosis. The evolution of popular participation in Ghanas development predates its independence.

The pre-independence period


Organised groupings of Ghanaians through associations and pressure groups were involved in shaping governance structures as far back as the 18th century. These groups consisting of traditional rulers, youths and women posed a direct threat to British colonial rule. Examples of opposition to colonialism by ordinar y Ghanaians were evident across the country. In Northern Ghana, communities protested against warrant chiefs and the hut tax of the colonial administrators. Market women openly and collectively showed their resentment to local

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to one another. In many cases, CSOs offered the only opportunity for ordinary citizens to engage in state affairs.

Present state
2007 marks fifty years of Ghanas independence. The country became the first nation in Africa, south of the Sahara to gain independence from

Ghana like most countries in Africa, has been marred by human rights violations dating back to colonial times, civil society actors have emerged as vocal advocates for human rights in the country, calling for reforms in the police, judicial practices, press freedoms, womens rights and respect for the rule of law.
colonial rule and the countrys theme for the celebrations is Championing African Excellence. This theme captures the veracity that Ghanas attainment of independence and the subsequent ideological support it extended to other colonised countries on the continent, culminated in the emancipation of many of these countries from colonial rule. Fift y years on, Ghana is experiencing an unprecedented period of political freedom. This period also coincides with an exponential increase in the number and contributions of CSOs towards economic and social development, empowerment of the citizenry, promotion and awareness creation and protection of the rights of the marginalised and poor. CSOs in Ghana have complemented, informed, inf luenced and challenged government a role often referred to as the demand side of governance, by pressing for public services, pushing government to improve the performance of the state, lobbying for the rights of excluded groups as well as campaigning against corruption and engaging in public-private partnerships. Civil society has also contributed significantly to altering the traditional conceptualisation of governance in Ghana and across Africa. Governance

is no longer the sole domain of government, as the growing participation and influence of non-state actors has enhanced human rights, democracy and reshaped multilateralism. Civil society has been described as the arena outside the family, the state and the market where people associate to advance common interests. This description finds resonance in civil societys experience in Ghana and has provided a platform for shared identity and ideology for a wide section of actors. Though Ghana, like most countries in Africa, has been marred by human rights violations dating back to colonial times, civil society actors have emerged as vocal advocates for human rights in the country, calling for reforms in the police, judicial practices, press freedoms, womens rights and respect for the rule of law. The enactment of the 1992 Constitution and the re-introduction of democracy in Ghana led to a legislative restoration of the peoples civil and political rights. More still needs to be done as the judicial processes within the country are still very slow and legal literacy of the citizens and their fundamental rights is very low. The Ghanaian civil society has also been able to engage the government on issues of national interest and relevance. CSOs are currently working on the ground to help achieve the MDGs though at a quantitative rather than qualitative level. Civil societys involvement has also led to major advances in legislation and practices that promote womens rights. However, the gap between policy formulation and implementation, on one hand, and awareness raising and action, on the other, is still a major cause for concern. Previously, Ghanas role as host of the Liberian peace talks in 2003 resulted in a collaboration between Liberian and Ghanaian civil society calling for an end to the war. Ghanaian civil society has also been closely involved in regional integration activities and the strengthening of the ECOWAS. There is however still need for CSOs to form sub-groups on thematic areas to forge stronger engagements in sub regional activities. With the growing role of civil society in the

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compromises the impact of civil society as a watchdog. Furthermore, at all phases of Ghanas evolution, civil societys legitimacy has often been disputed with questions relating to its mandate and transparency. Thus, as Ghana celebrates and reflects on fifty years of independence, it is imperative that civil society which has been intrinsically involved in the countrys growth and development, review its own evolution and contributions made over the last fifty years. This review should involve a balanced assessment of where improvements can be made for the future. The WACSI, UNDP, and GAPVOD seminar provided a platform for critical analysis of these.

development agenda, the donor/aid community has engaged in active support for CSOs and the development of civil society in general. The donor emphasis on building civil society in poor countries assumes that such support will eventually benefit the poorest sections of these societies. Effective aid is based on the principle of local ownership the democratic accountability of aid to its recipients. In Ghana, donor relations with civil society have evolved greatly. Majority of the donors are involved in direct budget funding with the World Bank, the European Union (EU), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department for International Development (DFID) as the four major funding agencies. In summary, challenges persist despite the laudable steps taken at the national level for collaborations between government and the civil society. Particularly, the number of CSOs working directly towards policy change is minimal which

The seminar centred its presentations and panel discussions on the following themes:
Donor/civil society relations and the effectiveness of aid Civil societys role in the achievement of the MDGs Linkages between civil society and traditional systems of governance Human rights in Ghana The state of the Ghanaian media The role of women in Ghanas past, present and future Civil society and private sector relations in Ghana Regional collaborations to democracy, peace and security in the sub-region Peace and conflict resolution in West Africa

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Donor/Civil Society Relations and the Effectiveness of Aid in Ghana2


As with most African countries, there has been a significant inflow of aid into Ghana. However, this has been quite unpredictable. Aid flows over the years appear to have led to low domestic resource mobilisation and have consequently reduced Ghana to a country heavily dependent on aid. In an attempt to improve aid effectiveness, donors tied aid to objectives aimed at the promotion of commercial interests and also to projects that were directly linked with poverty alleviation. However, this did not yield the expected results. In an effort to improve the effectiveness of aid, the government of Ghana and its development partners recently agreed on an aid package dubbed the Multi-Donor Budgetary Support (MDBS), which would ensure continuous flow of aid to finance the governments poverty related expenditures3.
It has been recognised that effective aid is based on the principle of local ownership. This means, recipients believe in the principles of accountability for the projects that donor funds support. In this vein, the donor community continues to appreciate the growing role of civil society in the development agenda, and has engaged in the active support of CSOs and the development of civil society in general. This emphasis on building civil society in poor countries assumes that such support will eventually benefit the poorest sections of these societies. The relationship between donors and CSOs has grown to be very dynamic in recent times. It is no longer just about funding and dependency but an emerging sense of genuine partnership between the donor community and CSOs. governance, democracy, political transparency and accountability. Instead of seeking to drive governmental reforms, funding is given towards supporting governmental reforms. The aim of this policy is not to drive government reforms but to support government policy and reforms. It is significant that though supporting governmental budgets alongside International Financial Institutions (IFI) loans is not a new concept for bilateral donors, the rationale for doing so has changed towards more dialogue and monitoring; for instance Ghana, in the use of the Millennium Challenge Account and the Global Fund by the United States government4 . The signing of the Paris Declaration by 120 donor countries marked a significant step in donorrecipient government relations. In that document, donor and recipient countries were enjoined to ensure that aid was provided within a context of national ownership which would be reflected in national development strategies. Furthermore, aid would be aligned towards countries which had reliable procurement and financial management systems and sound government budgets and priorities.

Current aid strategies


In recent years aid strategies by donors all over the world have recognised that governments in poorer countries must be the leaders in any long-term programme of poverty reduction (as defined in the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper [PRSP]). Consequently, there has been an increase in direct budget support to governments of developing countries with priority laid on, good

2 Ms. Taaka Awori Former Country Director ActionAid Ghana, introduced the theme: Donor- Civil Society Relations & the Effectiveness of Aid in Ghana, at the Regional seminar on Reflecting on Civil Societys Evolution in Ghana over the Last 50 Years, November 8-9 2007, Accra, Ghana. 3 Quartey P. (2005) Innovative Ways of Making Aid Effective In Ghana: Tied Aid versus Direct Budgetary Support, WIDER Conference on Sharing Global prosperity, 6-7 September 2005s 4 The United States government funding since the September 11th 2001 attack on the World Trade Center statistically more related to security rather than poverty reduction

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Presentations at the seminar also noted that hitherto in 1980s-1990s, CSOs were seen as the preferred partner in the provision of social services. However the practice has changed across West Africa except in post-conflict countries e.g. Liberia, Southern Sudan, and Sierra Leone. The aid architecture has also seen an increase in

In Ghana, donor relations with civil society have evolved greatly. Majority of the donors are involved in direct budget funding with the World Bank, EU, DFID and USAID as the four major funding agencies.
funding to NGOs based in donor countries and International Non Governmental Organisations (INGOs). There has also been an increased effort to reduce transaction costs, through larger funds to fewer NGOs, outsourcing through subcontracting grant management and pooling of funds to CSOs. There has also been a change of focus from service delivery to a focus on advocacy and policy engagement.

The case of Ghana


n Ghana, donor relations with civil society have evolved greatly. Majority of the donors are involved in direct budget funding with the World Bank, EU, DFID and USAID as the four major funding agencies. Svensson5 defines direct budget support as funds channelled through local accounting systems directly to partner governments; it is not linked to specific project

activity and is quickly disbursed. Budget support is a financial aid programme and may take two forms: i) General budget support, which refers to financial assistance or contribution towards the overall budget and conditionality is directed towards policy measures which relate to the overall budget priorities. Within this category, funds may be spent on certain sectors but there is no formal limitation as to where they should be spent; and ii) Specific budget support, i.e., aid given for specific sectors such as health and education. Financial aid is targeted at a discreet sector or sectors, with any conditionality relating to these sectors. Normally, government accounting may be augmented with additional sector reporting. Recently, efforts are being made to align aid with Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy II as reflected in the Ghana Partnership Strategy (which provides a framework for how donors support government to achieve measurable outcomes) and the Ghana Joint Assistance Strategy. There has also been

Actual and projected inflows to Ghana (billions of cedis) Years 1999 2000 2001 2002 Inflows 2385.5 1275.0 3739.4 2868.6 Projected Inflows 1498.1 2978.9 3784.6 4706.3 Shortfall % 17.5 19.9 1.2 39.1

Source: Government of Ghanas Annual Budget Statements, 1998 2003

Svensson, J. (2000). When Is Foreign Aid Policy Credible: Aid Dependence and Conditionality? Journal of Development Economics, 61: 61-84

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increased effort to do more with lessi.e. minimise administration and transactional costs. Worthy of note is the fact that a significant proportion of direct sizeable funding of CSOs is to INGOs and well-established Accra based organisations usually for advocacy and capacity building. In the same vein, most embassies in Ghana have small grant schemes providing small grants to NGOs usually for service delivery. There has also been increased outsourcing of grant management and pooled funding e.g. Business Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC), Ghana Research Advocacy Programme (G-RAP) and Rights and Voice Initiative (RAVI). It is however necessary that in order for there to be a strong synergy between CSOs and donor organisations and agencies, there is need for certain principles to be adopted by both parties.

They include the following:


Donors must ensure that relationships with CSOs are not only financial but practical, by engaging with CSOs to learn more about the realities of CSOs work in Ghana. They must also support an enabling environment for CSOs to work in terms of the regulatory environment and the creation of space at policy tables. The effectiveness of aid will be better felt if donors ensure that support is not only given to professional urban NGOs but also to community/grassroots level and rural based organisations. Donors must work with local partners to develop accountability mechanisms that promote accountability to donors as well as constituents. Currently the trend is for donor

organisations to fund INGOs and Accra-based organisations for advocacy and capacity building without recourse to what actually occurs in the rural areas. The establishment of a diversity of funding mechanisms (responsive short term funds vs. long term strategic funds) cannot be over-emphasised. This will assure long-term predictable funding, permitting core project and programme support. Reporting mechanisms set in place by donors require simplification. The complexity of reporting requirements is problematic for CSOs. CSOs on the other hand, must define their priorities and these must be developed from the opinions and needs of those on whose behalf they work for. (The issue of accountability in this regard was discussed extensively at the seminar. Civil society is constantly being challenged to engage in continuous self evaluation and be seen to be leading the way in the area of good governance, credibility and integrity). Strategic negotiations must be undertaken between CSOs and donors on the application of funding and desired outcomes. This would curb the criticism often made of donors that the agendas of CSOs are disregarded as their priorities often change without notice. There is a need for donors and CSOs to understand the underlying issues in their relationship: Who defines the development agenda? Who and what gets funding and why? Do professional NGOs or membership-based organisations get priority? Who bears support or programme costs? All these must be properly determined in order to ensure that funding has the proper impact on established targets.

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Civil Societys Role in the Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals6


September 2000 saw 189 Heads of States and Governments gathered at the United Nations in New York at the Millennium Summit and adopting what is now known as the MDGs and Targets. As a set of time-bound goals, the MDGs are an embodiment of wider human concerns and issues that are people-centred and measure human progress. The MDGs are intended to engender national initiatives and strategies geared towards alleviating poverty and improving the standard of living of the poorest of the poor across the globe. Although the global challenge to alleviate poverty is overwhelming, these leaders decided to concentrate on eight crucial goals that touch upon food, education, gender equality, child mortality, maternal health, HIV/AIDS and other major diseases, environmental sustainability, and global partnerships.
year period from 1990 to 2015. International Development Targets, which preceded the MDGs, were derived from a series of UN global conferences held during the 1990s. Ghana has established a relatively good track record for governance and in managing its economy. The seminar noted t hat Gha na has recognised the MDGs as the minimum development requirements for any country to come out of extreme poverty and enable wealth creation as such, the government has demonstrated a commitment to achieving the MDGs. The establishment of the National MDGs Committee in Ghana is the UN Resident Coordinating Units initiative adopted by the government of Ghana to do the initial thinking on the MDG agenda for Ghana. It will also undertake advocacy activities to forge closer relationships between government, private sector and other development partners. One of the roles of the Committee has been the carrying out of a MDGs Needs Assessment exercise. The Committee, chaired by the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, comprises of high-ranking representatives of the government, representatives from academia, technical experts from civil society organisations and the private

Mr. Nii Moi Thompson, Executive Director, Development Policy Institute

These eight goals are set to encourage all countries, to focus on human development problems. They have been carefully selected with the help of the UN agencies and other international organisations. They include 18 feasible straightforward targets to be met through country policies and programmes, international aid, and civil society engagement. These targets are set to be achieved in a 25-

6 Mr. Nii Moi Thompson, Executive Director, Development Policy Institute, Accra, Ghana. Civil Societys Role in the Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals Presented at the Regional seminar on Reflecting on Civil Societys Evolution in Ghana over the Last 50 Years, November 8-9 2007, Accra, Ghana.

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Reflecting on Civil Societys Evolution in Ghana over the Last 50 Years Millennium Development Goals Goals Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger Targets Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than one dollar a day. Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger. Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling. Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferable by 2005 and to all levels of education no later than 2015. Reduce by two-quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the under-5 mortality ratio. Reduce by three-quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio. Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS. Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases. Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse the loss of environmental resources. Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water. By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers. Develop further an open rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading and financial system (including a commitment to good governance, development and poverty reduction-both nationally and internationally. Address the special needs of the least developed countries (including tariffand-quota free access for exports, enhance program of debt relief for and cancellation of official bilateral debt, and more generous official development assistance for countries committed to poverty reduction). Address special needs of land-locked countries and small islands developing states. Deal comprehensively with the debt problem of developing countries through national and international measures in order to make debt sustainable in the long term. In cooperation with developing countries, develop and implement strategies for decent and productive work for youth. In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries. In cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies, especially informal and communications technologies.

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Achieve universal primary education Promote gender equality and empower women Reduce child mortality Improve maternal health Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases Ensure Environmental Sustainability

Develop a Global Partnership for Development

Source: Millennium Development Goals, 2000

sector; representatives of bilateral and multi-lateral donors, Breton Woods Institutions and the United Nations Country Team (UNCT)7. A recent national household survey indicates that Ghana has come close to meet its MDG target on improving the incomes of the poor and is close to meeting its targets on universal primary education and admission of girls into school. However,

800,000 children still remain out of school, improvements in health are not materialising despite a lot of investment, and progress on improving sanitation is poor. Inequality between and within regions has also increased as has poverty in urban areas. In Ghana, available evidence shows that a steady increase in both education and health spending has not been matched by improved outcomes. The proportion of trained teachers at the

Boateng J. Promoting the Millennium Development Goals: Report on Ghanas Experience, Accra Ghana, May 2005.

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primary school level, for example is about the same as it was in 1987, when the last education reforms were launched, despite increased spending in recent years, including increases in teachers salaries. The story is not much different in the health sectors, where infants under five and neonatal mortality rates have all deteriorated in recent years, following a decade or so of modest improvements Ghana has made mixed progress in the area of MDGs reporting. Positively, Ghana is ranked among the very few African countries that have produced an MDG report. Notwithstanding these achievements, there is a major weakness in the MDG reporting in Ghana. The first is the nonexistent action plans that are expected to guide the completion and launch of subsequent Millennium Development Goals Reports (MDGRs). Awareness raising and advocacy on the MDGs is also considerably very low. Presently, the tools for raising awareness and advocating for actions around the MDGs are concentrated on workshops, seminars, TV/radio interviews and occasionally press features. Effective and focused MDGs awareness creation tools that could yield maximum impact are yet to be employed in the country. They include: MDG quiz and debates in schools; MDG TV spots and documentaries; Publication and distribution of promotional materials like posters, brochures, cards, pens, billboards, stamps etc.; Formation of MDG Press Clubs; Organising MDG cultural events such as concerts, art festivals/contests and drama; UN Days with a special focus on MDG in schools; MDG sports competition; Youth

Forum on MDG; Ghana MDG website; Competition for journalists on MDG promotion; Translation of the MDGs into local languages among others.

The role of civil society


CSOs can help in t he achievement of t he MDGs in Ghana and their associated targets by providing critical and independent assessment of programmes in the country, linking in particular, government expenditures not just to outputs but to outcomes and impact. For instance, increased spending on education may lead to higher enrolment (one of the MDGs) but not a commensurate improvement in the quality of education within the country. The outputs of governments spending must be qualified with regard to classroom space, more teachers, higher salaries, etc. Civil society therefore, needs to investigate these paradoxes of high spending and declining outcomes through cases studies and participatory research. The key challenge facing civil society is technical capacity to handle the challenges of the MDGs. CSOs must build their capacity to monitor and evaluate government expenditure as allocated for projects and government reports. They should carry out qualitative research on progress made on the MDGs as well as engage government on ways to eradicate illiteracy using the World School Programme as a reference tool. The importance of documenting their activities in advocacy and development cannot be overemphasised. Since the MDGs do not constitute the totality of our development objectives, CSOs need to also examine broader issues such as culture and wealth creation as well.

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Linkages between Civil Society and Traditional Systems of Governance8


Traditional systems of governance are integral to Ghanaian society and remain the custodians of culture in the country. Historically, traditional rulers provided moral and spiritual leadership in communities and structures that protected peoples rights. For example, citizens rights in areas such as property ownership and the right to life were protected within the community and actions that violated the sanctity of the community were censured. However, it is also important to recall the struggle between the new nation state and the traditional states that preceded them. The colonial nation-state sought to use the traditional authorities to govern at the lowest unit (community) of the state (indirect rule) to serve their interests. The post-colonial state on the other hand perceived them as collaborators of the colonial oppressors and for that and other reasons not to be trusted or given any major role in the new nation-state.
collect taxes to meet this objective. They have also been marginalised politically. 1982 to 1992 saw an erosion of the influence and powers available to traditional authorities and institutions with the creation of Peoples Defence Committees (PDC)/ Committees for the Defence of the Revolution (CDR) which gave way to the Unit Committees u nder t he govern ment s decent ra l isat ion

Dr. K.B. Asante

Though the office of traditional rulers has evolved over time, traditional rulers still have considerable influence on the psyche and fabric of society. The demands of 21st century Ghana have meant that traditional rulers have of necessity had to redefine their roles and lose some of their powers.
programme9 . The 1992 Constitution went further to categorically bar traditional authorities from engaging in party politics. Though the office of traditional rulers has evolved over time, traditional rulers still have considerable influence on the psyche and fabric of society. The

This has given rise to the relegation of traditional authorities to the status of custodians of the tradition and customs of their subjects in all the post-colonial constitutions. Their role in the socioeconomic development of their communities is minimal since the nation-state has taken this role upon itself and the corresponding authority to
8

Dr. K.B. Asante introduced the theme at the Regional seminar on Reflecting on Civil Societys Evolution in Ghana over the Last 50 Years. November 8-9 2007, Accra, Ghana. 9 Bern Guri. Strengthening The Capacity Of Traditional Authorities For Good Governance And Development At The Local Level, Centre for Indigenous Knowledge And Organisational Development (CIKOD) Madina, Accra, Ghana.

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Traditional rulers participating in the discussion

demands of 21st century Ghana have meant that traditional rulers have of necessity had to redefine their roles and lose some of their powers. This transformation has resulted in traditional rulers acting as allies in developmental processes by being initiators and catalysts for change. For example, traditional leaders are at the forefront of drawing attention to infrastructural development needed in communities and have been leading voices in creating awareness about HIV/AIDS while providing a support networks for affected persons within the community. Traditional structures have deep roots in Ghanas associational culture and as a result should be an important actor within civil society. However, conventional understanding of civil society often excludes the role of traditional rulers in society, resulting in an underutilisation of their influence

and potential to bring about social change. Recently, some traditional authorities have decided to assert their authority as leaders of their people and accept some level of responsibility for their welfare. This change is being spearheaded by the Asantehene, Osei Tutu II, since his enthronement in 1999, as evidenced by his various social and economic development initiatives. The Okyenhene (Paramount Chief of the Akyems) is also well recognised for his activism in environmental protection and HIV/A IDS prevention with resources from external sources. The World Bank in support of their initiatives has developed and is implementing in parts of Southern Ghana, a special lending facility termed the Learning and Innovation Loan (LIL) whose main purpose is to test approaches to substantially integrate and improve deprived remote and rural communities led by the traditional authority and help focus the contributions/influence of traditional authorities in socio-economic development. What these traditional leaders have achieved so far goes to affirm that, if certain measures are put in place to ensure that there are checks and balances, there are roles for traditional authorities to play, at least in the socio-economic development of their communities. Civil society must engage government and traditional authorities in a dialogue on a policy framework that will incorporate the work of the traditional systems into national initiatives.

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The Role of Civil Society in Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention in West Africa10
West Africa has been the epicentre of violent conflicts and civil wars for decades. The region has hosted a number of protracted intra-state conflicts as occurred in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cote dIvoire and Guinea Bissau. Each with debilitating effects on the populations of those countries and cross border implications resulting in the sub-regionalisation of conflicts and the creation of conflict systems. Aside these large scale conflicts, various countries in the region have also experienced sporadic and intense conflagrations that threaten overall security. Specifically, internal crises in the Casamance region of Senegal, incessant uprisings in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, political tensions in Guinea and communal tensions in Ghana, to name a few, point to the need for a comprehensive system to prevent or mitigate conflicts and their ensuing effects in West Africa.
repression and uneven distribution of resources, which can, if left unattended to, escalate into violence. Operational prevention (or direct prevention) - are measures to address immediate crises such as sending high-level diplomatic missions to mediate between parties, using economic tools such as sanctions, inducements, or collecting weapons. In West Africa, a number of countries in the region have developed mechanisms for addressing conflicts but most are reactionary and ad hoc. At the regional level efforts have been made to address the conflicts before they erupt, mitigate them when they do, or prevent their resurgence. ECOWAS is t he lead inter-govern menta l organisation in terms of the attainment of sub-regional peace and security. The mandate for ECOWAS current conf lict prevention mechanism emerged from several instruments; The 1993 Revised ECOWAS Treaty called for the establishment of a regional peace and security observation system. This was substantially strengthened by the 1999 protocol relating to the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management,

Ms. Dorothy Gordon, Director General, KAIPTC chairing panel presentation, and Dr. Ozonnia Ojielo, Senior Governance Advisor UNDP

The concept of conf lict prevent ion is a n ambiguous framework that has transformed over time. The former UN Secretary General BoutrosGhali described conflict prevention as preventive diplomacy, an action to prevent disputes from arising between parties, to prevent existing disputes from escalating into conflicts and limit the spread of the latter when they occur.

Prevention has also been further grouped into:


Structural prevention (or root causes prevention) addressing root causes such as poverty, political

10 Dr. Ozonnia Ojielo introduced The Role of Civil Society in Peace building and Conflict Prevention in West Africa at the Regional seminar on Reflecting on Civil Societys Evolution in Ghana over the Last 50 Years, November 8-9 2007, Accra, Ghana.

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Resolution, Peacekeeping and Security, and the 2001 supplementary protocol on good governance and democracy. But it was really the 1999 protocol that kick-started a serious drive to prevent conflict through its main objectives of preventing, and resolving internal and inter-state conflicts, and the institutionalising of a Sub-regional peace and security observation system (Early Warning System). Early warning systems are regarded as an important tool in the prevention of conflicts, and the ECOWAS Early Warning system, as it is known, stands as the main area where tangible strides have been made by ECOWAS to erect a structure that would allow structural and operational prevention to occur. The role of civil society has been integral to the processes, CSOs proximity to local populations has been crucial to challenging marginalisation and discrimination, whilst promoting tolerance and a culture of peace. Civil society has also played central roles in strengthening local capacities for peace by raising the profile of indigenous mediation and reconciliation in communities. Though civil society cannot replace the State in providing peace and security, the ability of CSOs to set a compelling agenda, particularly on environmental, social, economic and security issues, has been a significant force in addressing structural causes of conflicts. Furthermore, the active involvement of civil society in formal peace processes has brought insights usually not considered by the parties in conflict. Notably, the role of Liberian civil society and in particular womens groups in non-violent activism during the Accra peace talks in 2003 ensured that the needs of ordinary Liberians were at the centre of the talks and that parties remained engaged until an agreement was signed. This was regarded as a key factor in the eventual success of the talks. The seminar noted that CSOs in Ghana should learn from the experiences in the region and become more engaged in peacebuilding and conflict prevention processes. Though Ghana is

enjoying a period of relative stability, the country has been host to bitter ethnic and chieftaincy conflicts, predominantly in its Northern regions. The north is comparatively less developed than the rest of the country and has conflicts rooted in a scramble for traditional and political power.

The active involvement of civil society in formal peace processes has brought insights usually not considered by the parties in conflict. Notably, the role of Liberian civil society and in particular womens groups in non-violent activism during the Accra peace talks in 2003, are regarded as a key factor in the eventual success of the talks.
Conf licts bet ween t he Kokomba a nd t he Nanumba, and the Kusasis and the Mamprusis have collectively led to thousands of deaths and still have the capacity of igniting violence11. There has also been a proliferation of small arms in Ghana. The Ghana National Commission on Small Arms estimates that there are 100,000 illicit weapons in circulation in the country. Porous borders causing arms to be brought in from Ghanas neighbours have been cited as the reasons for these large numbers but some studies have also stated that there is a burgeoning local manufacturing market. More recently, Ghana has also been identified as a passageway for the trafficking of illegal drugs. All these conditions illustrate that stability in Ghana should not be taken for granted, and any efforts to prevent violence should be promoted. There have been many attempts to prevent and mitigate violence in the North, some are locally generated such as the Bawku Peace Initiative and the activities implemented through the Unity Center at Damongo. Others have been inspired by regional and international actors such as the UNDP project, known as Strengthening

11 Thelma Ekiyor, The challenges of conflict prevention for West Africa and Ghana. A paper presented At the Annual Conference of Members of the German Development Corporation in Ghana, 2 October, 2007

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National Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution in Ghana. This is a noteworthy step by UNDP in recognition that conflict and poverty are closely inter-related and that to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), conflict management and peace building are critical components of sustainable development in Ghana. T h e U N DP p r o j e c t a s si s t e d G h a n a i n instutionalising peacebuilding through the establishment of a Peace Building Support Unit, otherwise referred to as the Department of Peace in the Ministry of Interior. If properly operated, such a unit can serve as a point of partnership between state actors and civil society in promoting conf lict prevention and peacebuilding in the country. Another very important structure is the bi-partisan 11 member council called the national architecture of peace; which is to serve as a conflict prevention body to provide early responses to emerging conf licts. The architecture brings civil society groups, community organisations, professional bodies and faith based organisations together with governance structures and security agencies, into a national framework for anticipating and responding to signs of conflict.

divisive issues, as well as promoting national reconciliation. 2. The second level is the establishment of Regional Peace Advisory Councils (RPAC). The RPACs include distinguished Ghanaians within the regions who mediate inter-district and community-level conflicts, facilitate trust and confidence building among groups as well as promote reconciliation. Underpinning the work of the RPACs is the recruitment, training and deployment of Peace Promotion Officers (the nucleus of a national cadre of mediators) in each of the ten regions. The PPOs provide technical expertise to the regional governments, communities and groups in the resolution of conflicts. In conjunction with the RPACs they organise capacity building for community members to expand the base of peace builders in the communities. Six RPACs have been established in six regions. The remaining four will be established within the first quarter of 2007. 3. The third level is District Peace Advisory Councils (DPACs). The DPACs include members of the District Assemblies and other community elders. The DPACs promote com mu n it y d ia log ue a nd mobil ise a l l stakeholders to ensure local ownership of peace building initiatives. They advise the district administrations on socio-economic initiatives that could give excluded groups a stake in the local economies. The establishment of DPACs will commence in mid-2007. This architecture will be particularly relevant in developing any conflict prevention strategy leading up to Ghanas elections in 2008. The link between elections and conflict is tendentious. Elections in West Africa have yielded varied results, and as Ghana positions itself for general elections in 2008, it is important for civil society and sectors to re-examine the conditions for peace and conflict in the country and proactively analyse if there are any indicators that can potentially lead to instability12 .

This structure is the outcome of a pilot project to build and mitigate conflicts in the North, following the Dagbon crisis in 2002. The success of the pilot project led to the creation of the National architecture which is work at 3 levels;
1. The first is the National Peace Council (NPC), which was recently constituted following consultations with all stakeholders including political associations. The NPC brings together very renowned and respected Ghanaians of distinction including Roman Catholic Cardinal Peter Turkson; Maulvi Wahab Adam, Ameer of the Ahmadiyya Movement; the National Chief Imam, Sheik Sharabutu; Bishop Lodonu; Pastor Mensah Otabil; Professor Irene Odotei, among others. This independent and nonpartisan statutory body provides a national platform for consensus building on potentially
12

Thelma Ekiyor, The challenges of conflict prevention for West Africa and Ghana

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The State of the Ghanaian Media13


The media in Ghana plays a central role in fostering public dialogue. Ghana currently has a strong and vibrant media that facilitates exchange of views on socio-political issues affecting the nation. The emergence of a mixture of state-owned and independent media in the country with a zeal for investigative journalism has served as a regulator, not only of government but other institutions. The liberalisation of the media in 1995 saw an increase in the number of radio and television stations and newspapers which enhanced public discourse on political issues and served as an efficient vehicle for civil societys voices to be heard.
first Newspaper Licensing Law was enacted14. Since the return of democratic governance in 1993, there are an ever-increasing number of print and broadcast outlets. Prior to 1995, only about 13 newspapers were making sporadic appearances, depending on the goodwill and disposition of the military government of the time. But by the end of 2005, more than 90 newspapers, magazines and journals had been registered with the media oversight body, National Media Commission (NMC). In the year 2005 alone, 37 newspapers and 26 magazines had been registered. State-owned newspapers have nationwide circulation. Though, rural regions in the country receive newspapers one full day or more after their publication dates. Apart from a few private newspapers and the state-owned media, which carried significant amounts of advertisements, the rest of the private newspapers survive almost entirely on subscription and news stand sales. The number of broadcast media outlets also experienced significant growth. The National Communications Authority (NCA), the regulatory authority charged with allocating frequencies, had by the end of 2004 granted frequencies to about 127 FM stations. As at March 2005, 84 of the radio stations were actually operational. The NCA had also within the same period given 28 approvals for television stations, but only six were

Prof. Kwame Karikari. Executive Director, Media Foundation for West Africa

The Ghanaian press has a long history, beginning with the appearance in 1857 of the Accra Herald, one of Africas first newspapers (published by an African). Until independence in 1957, the press played an important role in bringing colonial rule to an end. Ghanas first Prime Minister, Kwame Nkrumah, used the media as a revolutionary tool of African liberation. He provided practical guidance on how best to promote the independence struggle in the Accra Evening News which he founded in 1948. He also founded The Ghana News Agency in 1957 in order to correct the distortions about the continent in the international media. In 1963, the

Prof Kwame Karikari. Executive Director of Media Foundation for West Africa, introduced the theme The state of Ghanaian Media at the Regional seminar on Reflecting on Civil Societys Evolution in Ghana over the Last 50 Years, November 8-9 2007, Accra, Ghana. 14 Catherine de Gale: Africa Media Debates Ghana, 2000
13

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operational. One very significant contribution of the new FM stations is the use of Ghanaian languages in broadcasting. Beyond the repeal of the criminal libel law, the government dragged its feet in legislating a Right to Information Bill. Two main media regulatory institutions exist in Ghana. These are the NMC, which deals mainly with media content, and the NCA, which is mainly responsible for frequency regulation infrastructure development. The NMC has an oversight mandate on the media-to promote and safeguard the freedom and independence of the media, encourage responsible practice and investigate, mediate and settle complaints made against the press or other mass media. The NCA mandate on the other is to promote broadcast pluralism, to oversee the allocation, administration and utilisation of the countrys frequency spectrum and to ensure that as far as practicable and reasonably necessary to
Hon. Mrs. Frema Osei Opare Dep Minister, Ministry of Youth & Employment

significant qualitative improvements in format and content. Many of the private newspapers continued to be characterised by poor packaging, sensational headlines, poor grammar and factual inaccuracies. However, the media in Ghana have played their expected roles in ensuring that the citizens have access to government functionaries. This has been possible through phone-in segments during electronic media programmes and letters addressed to editors in the print media which affords the citizens the opportunity to also make their concerns known. Though the media plays a critical role within civil society, there is the tendency to categorise the media as being separate from civil society. Conceptually, a broad definition of civil society should incorporate the activities of the media as media ideals of freedom of expression and association, transparency and accountability are cornerstones of civil society. However, narrow interpretations of civil society as being predominantly a sphere for NGOs has resulted in sidelining the media. CSOs engagement of the media will enable plurality of voices and diversity of opinions on issues of national interest. Civil society in partnership with the media can make a significant difference in improving governance as innovators in service provision, developers of pro-poor policies, investigators of state abuses, monitors and overseers of state institutions, and advocates of marginalised people. A strong and independent media working

Dr. Esi Sutherland Addy, Member of WACSI Board of Directors

satisfy demand for services, communications services are provided throughout Ghana. Despite its gains, the media is still wrought with problems of weak infrastructure, poor management and lack of qualified and skilled personnel. The print media sector in particular did not witness

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within the umbrella of civil society will contribute to building an effective state that protects human rights, support economic growth, tackle corruption and provide security and basic services like education and health care15. For the media to become a visible part of civil society there needs to be targeted initiatives that interest the media, and the use of the media beyond simply covering CSO activities. CSOs should also have media units within their organisations to enhance their operations. The media on its part must enhance its visibility at the grassroots level. Civil society must be empowered by knowledge and public support. The seminar stressed that the need for National Broadcasting Legislation in Ghana cannot be overemphasised as this will streamline the activities and conduct of the media. The seminar also called on CSOs to encourage the establishment of community radio stations and papers since it will afford people in such communities the

opportunity to effectively make their problems known to government. Such community radio stations and papers will help the underprivileged who cannot access the commercial media as a result of the huge amounts involved to also access an equally effective one. In the same vein, the seminar argued that the time has come for the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) to be transformed into a public broadcasting service as done in many developed countries since it would create the platform for those who are unable to access the private ones to also access it. This transformation would help break the monopoly of politicians and businessmen who have hijacked the airwaves at the detriment of the underprivileged in society. The seminar urged CSOs to partner with people advocating for the passage of the Freedom of Information Bill since such a bill would help in the fight against corruption.

15

DFID Practice Paper, September 2007

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Regional Collaborations towards Democracy, Peace and Security in the Sub-region16


During the pro-independence movement in the 1960s, the role of civil society in the Ghanas independence stirred up hope in other countries on the verge of ending colonialism. In recent times, Ghanaian civil society organisations have been instrumental in promoting peace and democratisation in countries in West Africa. Though based in Ghana, many CSOs have a regional and global outlook and implement initiatives that promote good governance, democratisation and peace across the sub-region. Notably, Ghanas role as host of the Liberian peace talks in 2003 resulted in a collaboration between Liberian and Ghanaian civil society communities calling for an end to the war. On a wider scale, Ghanaian civil society organisations have been closely involved in regional integration activities and the strengthening of the ECOWAS.
that promote good governance, democratisation and peace across the sub-region. Notably, Ghanas role as host of the Liberian peace talks in 2003 resulted in a collaboration between Liberian and Ghanaian civil society communities calling for an end to the war. On a wider scale, Ghanaian civil society organisations have been closely involved in regional integration activities and the strengthening of the ECOWAS. The seminar noted that Ghana was a key player in sub-regional and continental fora. As the first country to attain independence in West Africa, the role of Ghana in shaping continental organisations cannot be underestimated. As an example of its key position in the politics of Africa, Ghana hosted in July 2007, the African Union (AU) Summit where African Heads of States gathered to examine the future of Africa. Ghanas first President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah took the lead in 1963 by bringing African countries together to build Pan Africanist ideals. Subsequent events in the area of continental integration, and the creation of ECOWAS, built on these ideals. Building and strengthening peace and democracy and promoting security in West Africa require more than just the resolution of isolated

Prof. Oumar Ndongo, General Secretary, the West African Civil Society Forum

During the pro-independence movement in the 1960s, the role of civil society in the Ghanas independence inspired other countries on the verge of ending colonialism. In recent times, Ghanaian civil society organisations have been instrumental in promoting peace and democratisation in countries in West Africa. Though based in Ghana, many CSOs have a regional and global outlook and implement initiatives
16

Prof. Oumar Ndongo, General Secretary, WACSOF, introduced the theme Regional Collaborations and Challenges: An assessment of Ghanaian civil societys contributions to democracy, peace and security in the sub region at the at the Regional seminar on Reflecting on Civil Societys Evolution in Ghana over the Last 50 Years, November 8-9 2007, Accra, Ghana.

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conflicts. It is essential to examine the dynamics of change (demographic, policy-related, economic, cultural and institutional) in West African societies that are, to a great extent, at the origins of many ongoing conflicts and impact on the modalities of exit from crises. Some of the factors for the spread of conflicts at the local, national, cross-border and regional levels include: the regional and spatial dimensions related to the forced movement of populations, illegal trade in raw materials and light weapons, and links between the political elite and rebel groups of neighbouring countries. WACSOF was established to provide a role for CSOs to contribute towards addressing these challenges.The Forum is the institutionalised platform for CSOs to interface with ECOWAS on issues of democracy, governance, and security. The Executive Committee of WACSOF organised a retreat in August 2007 to seek ways, through a SWOT analysis, to move to a higher level of engagement with the development of national platforms in the 15 ECOWAS member states. Other transnational networks with bases in Ghana such as WA NEP and Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) have significantly raised the level of CSOs involvement in peace building and policy reformulation across West Africa. Actions undertaken by CSOs under the leadership of the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) in 2004 to stop government decision to privatise the water supply serve as good examples of how civil society operate as an effective pressure group or watchdog. The Ghana Trade and Livelihoods Coalition (GTLC) and the Third World Network (TWN) have also played tremendous roles in galvanising civil society support against the signing of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) with the European Union. In 2004, the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) embarked on a campaign to promote good neighbourliness within the sub-region. This effort, which led to a visit to the ECOWAS Secretariat in Abuja, culminated in the revival of the West African Students Union (WASU). The seminar further noted that Ghanas presence
Mr. Chirtian Lawrence, Senior Programme Officer, CGG Sierra Leone

at the regional level is also felt through the large constituency of its CSO/NGO networks for increased advocacy of issues at national and subregional levels. The Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA), the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), and the Centre for Policy Analysis (CEPA) are professional entities which have gained credibility and respect in and outside the country. Despite these achievements, challenges persist. Ghanaian CSOs, like most CSOs in West Africa are donor-driven and are particularly weak in networking. The fight over funding opportunities accounts for the lack of stronger and more viable entities. The seminar noted the need for stronger networks to better influence policies at national and sub-regional levels. It was stressed that while Ghanaian organisations have competent and talented human resources, weak internal accountability mechanisms have compromised CSOs demand for accountability, transparency and sound management practices from public office holders or government officials. Critically, WACSOFs national platform in Ghana should be strengthened. Regional organisations credibility should be on the ability to integrate grassroots actors. Much the same way, information from the sub-regional level should filter down to strengthen synergies and facilitate empowerment of community based organisations which are closer local populations.

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Civil Society and Private Sector Relations17


In Ghana, the private sector has contributed immensely in the payment of taxes, creation of employment opportunities, infrastructural development as well as community based support to rural communities.
The state creates conducive political and legal environment, the private sector generates jobs and income, whilst civil society facilitates political and social interaction by mobilising groups to participate in economic, social and political activities. The rising popularity of CSOs is largely in response to the widespread disillusionment with the performance of the public sector in some developing countries. In fact, even governments are now increasingly viewing CSOs as an integral part of the institutional structure particularly for addressing the problem of rising poverty. This is reflected in the poverty reduction strategies instituted action by governments in most developing countries. In Ghana, the private sector has contributed immensely in the payment of taxes, creation of employment opportunities, infrastructural development as well as community based support to rural communities. The demands by civil society for Corporate Social Responsibility by the private sector have further brought to light the role of the private sector in Ghana. The private sector has basically represented the non-public sector ownership and control of organisations or structures usually found in the field of commerce or business. The necessity for group activity and group influence has given rise to these human creations as vessels through which programmes and strategies for the attainment of various goals became priorities. There has been the emergence of some institutions such as Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ghana Chamber of Mines, Ghana Employers Association, Ghana

Mr. Jesse Clottey, Private Enterprise Corporation

As the government, private sector, civil society, and international development agencies seek more effective ways to cooperate, the need to assess the relationship between these groups becomes expedient. A well functioning state consists of collaboration between the state, private sector and civil society. All three are essential for sustaining human development. In Ghana, whereas the collaboration and partnership between government and the private sector is visible and often close, the relationship between the private sector and civil society is characterised either by suspicion or indifference. The private sector is largely suspicious of civil societys agenda and motives resulting in very limited interaction and collaboration between both sectors.

17 Mr. Jesse Clottey, Private Enterprise Corporation introduced the theme :Civil Society and Private Sector Relations in Ghana Paper presented at the Regional Seminar on Reflecting on Civil Societys evolution in the last fifty years November 8-9, 2007; Accra, Ghana.

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Association of Bankers, etc. These organisations formed the Private Enterprise Foundation. This initiative was formed with a view to influencing government policies and regulations as Information Technology (IT) affects the private sector. There have been collaborations between the private sector and civil society though very few and far apart. In 1997 for instance, during the energy crisis, the two groups mobilised forces and influence to work towards reliable solutions. The strategy adopted was to have a meeting to deliberate on how to restore a more reliable and cost effective energy sources in Ghana.

sector, etc. The spirit of isolated activities must be replaced by more co-ordinated private sectorcivil society relations. The seminar further recommended that the focus should be on mobilising groups to participate in economic, social and political activism. Since so much depends on the reliability of funding sources, it may be necessary to emphasise on the quality of civil society monitoring and evaluation. This would thereby justify the provision of resources by the private sector to regularise and internalise the monitoring activities of civil society groups who are professionally equipped and are supervised to deliver good services. The culture of monitoring and evaluation that is prevalent in the private sector and the civil society should be ingrained in the way things are done in Ghana. This is a useful input the collaboration of the private sector and civil society would introduce into the system. There is presently no regular opportunity in Ghana for civil society and government to exchange ideas, skills, and best practices on public sector performance. Suggestions were made that a forum involving representatives of government and civil society should be held annually. These events would bring to the table best practices on performance assessment during the course of the year, including joint performance assessment activities undertaken on a sectoral or cross-sectoral basis18. Regular interactions and exchanges between both sectors will assist in alleviating some challenges, such as: Lack of awareness in civil society of mechanisms

The private sector has basically represented the non-public sector ownership and control of organisations or structures usually found in the field of commerce or business.

With the development agenda largely moderated by the Budget and Economic Policy Document, the GPRS l & II and the Millennium Development Goals, there is space for the participation of the private sector and the civil society in issues of development. However, there are constraints for the civil society as it neither has the conceptual/ real structures of representation nor generally accepted articulation of its priorities. The private sector on the other hand has mechanisms to respond to the invitation of the Ministry of Finance to provide inputs for consideration as source material for the budget. The seminar noted that CSOs in Ghana must endeavour to form linkages with the private sector through dialogue. The interests of the private and public sector must be coordinated. The current state of the relationship maybe attributed to organisational lapses and not mere suspicion or indifference. Whilst building linkages, civil societ y must streamline its activities along initial collaborations between GAPVOD, the faith-based groups, the private
18

The Role of Civil Society in Assessing Private Sector Performance in Ghana. World Bank Workshop Report 2000.

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to access information on the public sector and of their right to such information; Lack of a strong activist tradition; A general lack of capacity (skills and knowledge) as well as lack of access to resources (information, funds, and the like); The general perception of CSOs (especially NGOs) that they are service and welfare providers, not watchdogs or advocates of public sector performance. In Ghana, the prevailing perception is that public goods and services are provided by a benevolent government, and civil society does not have a right to criticise its performance. There is also an absence of direct benefits from participating in public sector processes. Civil society often pays a heavy price in project delays or lack of completion as a result of slow and inefficient service delivery.

Where participation has been a condition for obtaining resources, an inordinate amount of time has been demanded from the beneficiaries, sometimes with no pay-off. Another major constraint in this relationship is the culture of control of information in public institutions and in the Official Secrecy Act in Ghana, which prevents easy access to public sector information. There is the need therefore for the private sector to create opportunities for engaging on policy issues, to strengthen the capacities of CSOs, form partnerships with CSOs- both as sources and recipients of information, and build a strong coalition around key issues. The private sector could initiate a funding mechanism to strengthen the capacity of civil society as well as collaborate in securing funding and partnerships for community and national development.

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Womens Role in Ghana: Past, Present and Future19


Women in Ghana played pivotal roles contributing to social and political life throughout Ghanas pre and post-independence eras. Traditionally, women have always been active around social, economic, political issues. Some activities were around ushering young women into puberty and adulthood while others were around cultural dances and music. Among the Akan people for instance, while the men went to war, the women performed mmomomme, which were dances and rites with military and religious connotations to assure the community of victory in battle.
which lineage ancestors were allowed to be reborn. In pre-colonial times, polygamy was encouraged, especially for wealthy men. Anthropologists have explained the practice as a traditional method for well-to-do men to procreate additional labour. Given the male dominance in traditional society, some economic anthropologists have explained a females ability to reproduce as the most important means by which women ensured social and economic security for themselves, especially if they bore male children. The consequences of these colonial practices were that women were largely unrepresented in the political, economic and social structures of the colonial state. However, women in Ghana advocated against status quo and participated actively in the anti-colonialist struggles, such as the cocoa holdups and boycotts of European merchants. The transition into the modern world has been slow for women. On the one hand, the high rate of female fertility in Ghana in the 1980s showed that womens primary role continued to be that of child-bearing. On the other hand, current research supported the view that, notwithstanding the Education Act of 1960, which expanded and required elementary education, some parents were reluctant to send their daughters to school because their labour was needed in the home and on farms. Resistance to female education also stemmed from

Dr. Rose Mensah-Kutin, Executive Director, Abantu for Development

Colonisation utilised exiting forms of social relations between men and women and transformed them along the lines of Western Victorian values to enhance the economic exploitation agenda of the colonialists. Womens roles as producers of a wide range of crops was undermined by their redefinition as housewives and the definition of men as breadwinners and head of households. Women in pre-modern Ghanaian society were seen as bearers of children, retailers of fish, and farmers. Within the traditional sphere, the childbearing ability of women was explained as the means by

19 Dr. Rose Mensah-Kutin, Executive Director, Abantu for Development introduced the Theme The role of Women in Ghanas past, present and future Presented at the Regional seminar on Reflecting on Civil Societys Evolution in Ghana over the Last 50 Years, November 8-9 2007, Accra, Ghana.

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women as members of the National Assembly. It provided for ten women to hold office. This was an innovation in Ghana and Africa as a whole. Generally however, issues of state accountability and the extent to which civil society has pushed for political changes since the 1990s have created a chance for women in Ghana to advance their rights in areas of politics and national debates, though so much still remains to be done. In spite of the pivotal roles Ghanaian women play within their communities, families and society in general, it is worrying to note that they do not occupy key decision making positions in all sectors of economic, social and political life. The prevailing practice for women is to be relegated to the background after supporting male counterparts in political parties. The ratio of female/male membership of both Parliament and District Assemblies, as well as public/private sectors and in corporate organisations does not reflect a population composed of over 51% women. Women account for only 11% in the public service. There are only 25 women in a 230member Legislative, making only 9%. The figures at the District Assembly levels have grown over time but are still inadequate even when affirmative guidelines are applied. Women make up 16% in the Council of State, the body that advises the President on the critical challenges facing the Ghanaian nation. The seminar highlighted the fact that economic policy reforms have not helped the situation of women in any remarkable way. Since 2002, the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) has been used as the basic framework of promoting economic development. Critics assert that gender analysis was flawed in the first GPRS (2002). Efforts were however made to address this in GPRS II by engaging more broadly with civil society institutions who work to promote the gender equality. Lack of access to water and sanitation are other areas that have implications for womens experience of poverty. Women spend long hours walking long distances to fetch water and firewood for their families. This has had negative consequences on their health. Figures for 1997-2003 show negative trends in health

Mr. David Nii Addy, Technical Advisor, GTZ/KAIPTC

the conviction that women would be supported by their husbands. In some circles, there was the fear that a girls marriage prospects dimmed when she became educated. Statistics show that 41% of women have no formal education as opposed to 21.1% of men. Given that access to most positions in formal sector employment now require secondary or higher levels of education, statistics also show that currently only 5.7% women are working in this sector as against 15.8% of men. The current enrolment figures do not give much room for optimism. The average enrolment rates for male students are 66.2% and 58.4% for females. More girls than boys drop out of education at all levels. For example, in 2003, only 2% of all tertiary students were female. Factors such as poverty, early marriage and teenage pregnancy prevent females from continuing their education to the tertiary level. The government actively campaigns for girls education and has established a girls education unit within the basic education division of the Ghana Educational Service. A similar situation occurs in the political arena. Though the Representation Act of the People was passed in 1959, much has not been achieved in the last fifty years as the practice has been for women to be underrepresented at all levels of governance. This Act made provision for the election of

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indicators: e.g. fact mortality rose from 57 in 1998 to 64 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2003; child mortality also rose from 108 to 111 per live births in the same period while UNDP figures for maternal mortality for 2000 shows 540 per 100,000 live births. Within civil society, womens involvement in informal and formal organisations has increased and women have been on the forefront of advocating for gender equity and improvements in the socio-economic status of women in the country. This has led to major advancements in legislation and practices that promote womens rights. Nevertheless, challenges of domestic violence against women, oppressive cultural practices and weak structures to address violations of womens rights still persist. Customary law rules and beliefs, ideologies and practices of marriage discriminate against women. HIV/AIDS infections are also higher among women. The Ministry of Health in Ghana indicates that more than 90% of all HIV/ AIDS cases are among women and men of ages 15 and 49 and two-thirds of those infected with the virus are female. International womens rights provisions have assisted Ghanaian women civil society at all levels to advocate for their rights. The seminar highlighted three key initiatives, namely:

the public and influence the bills early passage. Through the efforts of DVC, Ghana now has a Domestic Violence Law. Unique features of the Law include the mandatory duty placed on the police in the enforcement of domestic violence legislation. The law also provides for civil protection orders and defines sexual harassment. It also places a duty on the Minister of Justice to make regulations for the training of court and police officers as well as the education and counselling of victims and perpetrators of domestic violence.

The Womens Manifesto for Ghana and the formation of the Womens Manifesto Coalition (MWC)
This idea emerged as an initiative from ABANTU for Development. Some of its objectives were: a. To demand from government, its agencies, political parties and the general populace actions towards addressing the economic and socio-cultural environment that hinders the active participation of women in the processes of national development; b. To provide information to those committed to becoming knowledgeable on what is needed to achieve gender equality; c. To check and monitor political parties accountability and their attitudes in relation to issues of concern to women and the opportunities they create to promote womens participation in politics and in decision-making processes. Through the work of the Manifesto, the Domestic Violence (DV) Coalition, NETRIGHT, other CSO actors, and advocacy groups have built a strong base for addressing gender issues in Ghana, the sub-region and the rest of Africa and beyond. It is clear that CSOs in Ghana can pool their resources and capacities together to influence relevant change towards social transformation from a gender perspective. The importance of partnerships, both within the CSO ranks and with different constituenciesmass organisations, the media, and the private sectorcannot be underestimated. The maximisation of successful partnerships will enable CSOs in Ghana achieve their goals of consolidating the achievements of

The Network for Womens Rights in Ghana (NETRIGHT)


NETRIGHT has been active in working on economic justice issues such as the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy and Land rights. It has also recently advocated for recognition of the importance of womens rights work through the advocacy work it embarked on in relation to the Ghana Research and Advocacy Programme (GRAP). Through the effort of NETRIGHT, this pooled funding mechanism for Research and Advocacy organisations in Ghana is currently going through an engendering process.

The Domestic Violence Coalition (DVC)


DVC was built around the then Domestic Violence Bill. Series of activities were embarked upon by the coalition to sensitise and create awareness in

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Safeguarding Human Rights in Ghana20


The concept of human rights refers to the basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled. Examples of rights and freedoms which are often thought of as human rights include civil and political rights, such as the right to life and liberty, freedom of expression, and equality before the law; and social, cultural and economic rights, including the right to participate in culture, the right to work, and the right to education. Safeguarding these rights is a long process that implies the promotion, the protection and the monitoring of the said rights.
in West Africa, Ghana has a past that is marred by human rights violations dating back to colonial times. Subsequent post independence governments also oppressed Ghanaians through arbitrary arrests, detentions, and instituting a culture of fear in society, particularly during the countrys successive military regimes. The enactment of the 1992 Constitution and the re-introduction of democracy in Ghana led to legislative restoration of the peoples civil and political rights. Currently, there has been significant progress recorded in Ghana in the upholding of human rights. There is marked increase in the signing and ratification of major international human rights mechanisms, for instance the Childrens Convention (Childrens Act). There have also been major law reforms as well. The establishment of the vibrant Commission on Human Rights and Justice (CHRAJ) in 1993 is viewed as a major progressive step towards safeguarding human rights. This Commission exists to enhance good governance, democracy, integrity, peace and social development by promoting, protecting and enforcing fundamental human rights and freedoms and administrative justice for all persons in Ghana.

Prof. Kenneth A. Attafuah, Executive Director, The Justice and Human Rights Institute

gender equality in Ghana. This process is intricately linked to: The constitutionalism, the rule of law and the democratisation, The citizen participation in decision affecting the citizenry, The limitation of the government power and the protection of individual rights and liberties. As such, Ghana is a constitutional democracy with a strong presidency and a unicameral 230seat parliament since 1992. Like most countries
20

The objectives of CHRAJ are to:


Ensure a culture of respect for the rights and

Prof. Kenneth A. Attafuah, Executive Director, The Justice and Human Rights Institute, Accra. Civil Societys role in safeguarding Human Rights Paper presented at the Regional seminar on Reflecting on Civil Societys Evolution in Ghana over the Last 50 Years, November 8-9 2007, Accra, Ghana.

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obligations of all people in Ghana. Dispense and promote justice in a free, informal and relatively expeditious manner. Ensure fairness, efficiency, transparency and application of best practices. Use a well-trained and motivated workforce and the most modern technology. Civil society actors have emerged as vocal advocates for human rights in the country, calling for reforms in police and judicial practices, press freedoms, womens rights and respect for the rule of law. Ghana has witnessed the emergence of strong womens groups such as the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), professional groups and faith-based organisations. These have made their impact felt through boycotts, publications, workshops/seminars, campaigns, petitions, parliamentary lobbying, demonstrations as well as press conferences and issuing of communiqus. The seminar however identified that much still needs to be done by CSOs to promote civil societies in safeguarding human rights in Ghana. The need to broaden societal appreciation and acceptance of

human rights was reiterated. Emphasis should be placed on the promotion of the pillars of horizontal accountability, i.e. judicial accountability and parliamentary effectiveness. CSOs must also promote the pillars of vertical accountability through civic education for effective and robust citizenship. They should make civic demands for simple, effective laws as well as demand and work for the appropriate legal framework for fighting corruption through the promulgation of Freedom of Information Law, Whistle Blower legislation and repeal of Criminal Libel laws. The seminar concluded that civil society must become a major driving force in popularising the contents of the 1992 Constitution. In particular, there should be no justification for any further delays in implementing the recommendations for mass human rights education and institutional reforms aimed at preventing the kind of egregious human rights violations heard by CHRAJ. Civil society must articulate and champion the demand for government to live up to its promises of upholding human rights in Ghana.

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Conclusion
The regional seminar highlighted the need for concerted efforts on the part of all involved civil society, the government, the private sector, women groups, the traditional leaders, the media and all other agencies. As Ghana celebrates 50 years, it is imperative that civil society analyses its strengths and weaknesses and engage government in building a common ground on all issues. Civil society in Ghana must continue to complement, inform, influence and challenge government by pushing government to improve the performance of the state, lobbying for the rights of excluded groups as well as campaigning against corruption and engaging in public-private partnerships.
Such interaction between civil society and government (and donors) means that civil society is also an important potential user of information on the performance of governmenti.e., on performance indicators and the findings of evaluations and reviews. Civil society can also be instrumental in putting pressure on any government agencies which are suffering from corruption. Civil society must redefine its position and continuously evaluate its operations in area of accountability, transparency and internal governance. There is an urgent need to strengthen Ghanas civil societys local capacities to mediate in conf lict and manage differences through con f l ict resolut ion t ra i n i ng, med iat ion services and dialogue facilitation as well as the alleviation of social tensions and conflicts by cha l lenging racism, xenophobia a nd discrimination, whilst promoting tolerance and a culture of peace. Civil society must advocate for a National Broadcasting legislation to regulate the national media. Private sector and civil society alliances should be forged for community development. C ol l a b o r at io n s b e t we e n c iv i l s o c ie t y organisations working on human rights and government agencies such as the CHRAJ should be forged and sustained. Civil society should use the inf luence and potential of the traditional systems to forge in roads in areas of HIV/AIDS, FGM, and violence against women.

The following recommendations were made at the seminar: National Level


Government should hasten the implementation and achievement of the MDGs. CSOs must be involved in the monitoring and evaluation of progress made on issues such as poverty, HIV/AIDS and gender equality in the MDGs. The activities and successes of civil society in Ghana in all areas of endeavour should be documented for ease of reference and to build credibility. Civil society should mobilise and actively engage in pre-election advocacy, election monitoring and observation especially during the upcoming 2008 Ghanaian elections. Donor agencies and organisations should ensure that their relationships with civil society are not only financial but practical, by engaging with CSOs on the realities of their work and impact in Ghana. Civil societ y shou ld clearly def ine a nd strategically negotiate for the principles around which relations with donors are centred.

Regional Level
Civil society must continue to play a critical role in peace-building and the prevention of conflict bearing in mind Ghanas history, by addressing issues of structural violence, promoting human security through initiatives for social and economic development, human rights monitoring; promotion of the rule of law and preventing environmental degradation;

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34

participating in political processes, policy dialogues, mentoring, advocacy, campaigns and protests, thereby making governments and state structures more responsive to the needs of their citizenry. Focus should be placed on regional and alternate resources for the funding and operations of civil society. There is need for civil society to improve their knowledge base of ECOWAS, its provision for CSOs and its workings in areas of peace and security. Stakeholders should be engaged on t he functionality of the ECOWARN. There should be formation of sub-groups on thematic areas to forge stronger engagements in sub-regional activities.

Monitoring and Evaluation


CHRAJ, Equal Opportunities Commissions, Gender Commissions, the media, civil society and research institutions should be watchdogs monitoring the implementation of the MDGs and the implementation of regional and international mechanisms.

Capacity Building
Strengthen the collaboration of networks across the region through training. The setting up of a Peoples Law School for basic legal and judicial literacy within Ghana. Build the capacity of civil society on legal issues and government policies on the implementation of international charters and protocols.

Appendices

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COMMUNIQU
Regional Seminar on Reflecting on Civil Societys Evolution in Ghana over the Last 50 Years La Palm Beach Hotel, Accra Ghana; November 8 -9, 2007
We, the representatives of civil society actors in Ghana and across West Africa, government representatives, donor agencies, the media, and the private sector, gathered in Accra, Ghana to reflect on the evolution and contributions made over the last fifty years and formulate strategies for strengthening collaborations and partnerships in Ghana: Recognising, the role of civil society in fostering democracy, good governance, peace-building, socio-economic development and gender equality in general, Acknowledging the exponential increase in the number and contributions of civil society towards economic and social development, empowerment of the citizenry, promotion and awareness creation and protection of the rights of the marginalised and the poor, Stressing the primary responsibility of the state to protect its citizens from human rights violations and crimes against humanity, Concerned about the progress made in Ghana of the MDGs before 2015, Noting the critical role of the media as an agent of democratisation in Ghana and its place within the civil society, Commending the involvement of Ghanaian women in the promotion of gender equity, advancements in legislation and practices that promote womens rights, Realising the important role that traditional governance systems play within the Ghanaian society, Acknowledging Ghanas key position in the attainment of regional peace and stability within the sub region, And noting that a lot still remains to be achieved in enhancing the contributions of civil society in Ghana and across West Africa,

Recommend that: National Level


Government should hasten the implementation and achievement of the MDGs. CSOs must be involved in the monitoring and evaluation of progress made on issues such as poverty, HIV/AIDS and gender equality in the MDGs. The activities and successes of civil society in Ghana in all areas of endeavour should be documented for ease of reference and to build credibility. Civil society should mobilise and actively engage in pre-election advocacy, election monitoring and observation especially during the upcoming 2008 Ghanaian elections. Donor agencies and organisations should ensure that their relationships with civil society are not only financial but practical, by engaging with CSOs on the realities of their work and impact in Ghana. Civil societ y shou ld clearly def ine a nd strategically negotiate for the principles around which relations with donors are centred. Civil society must redefine its position and continuously evaluate its operations in area of accountability, transparency and internal governance. There is an urgent need to strengthen Ghanas civil societys local capacities to mediate in conf lict and manage differences through conflict resolution training, mediation services

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and dialogue facilitation as well as the alleviation of social tensions and conflicts by challenging racism, xenophobia and discrimination, whilst promoting tolerance and a culture of peace. Civil society must advocate for a National Broadcasting legislation to regulate the national media. Private sector and civil society alliances should be forged for community development. C ol l a b o r at io n s b e t we e n c iv i l s o c ie t y organisations working on human rights and government agencies such as the CHRAJ should be forged and sustained. Civil society should use the inf luence and potential of the traditional systems to forge in roads in areas of HIV/AIDS, FGM, and violence against women.

Monitoring and Evaluation


CHRAJ, Equal Opportunities Commissions, Gender Commissions, the media, civil society and research institutions should be watch dogs monitoring the implementation of the MDGs and the implementation of regional and international mechanisms.

Capacity Building
Strengthen the collaboration of networks across the region through training. The setting up of a Peoples Law School for basic legal and judicial literacy within Ghana. Build the capacity of civil society on legal issues and government policies on the implementation of international charters and protocols.

Regional Level
Civil society must continue to play a critical role in peace-building and the prevention of conflict bearing in mind Ghanas history, by addressing issues of structural violence, promoting human security through initiatives for social and economic development, human rights monitoring; promotion of the rule of law and preventing environmental degradation; participating in political processes, policy dialogues, mentoring, advocacy, campaigns and protests, thereby making governments and state structures more responsive to the needs of their citizenry. Focus should be placed on regional and alternate resources for the funding and operations of civil society. There is need for civil society to improve their knowledge base of ECOWAS, its provision for CSOs and its workings in areas of peace and security. Stakeholders should be engaged on t he functionality of the ECOWARN. There should be formation of sub-groups on thematic areas to forge stronger engagements in sub-regional activities.

Accra, Ghana November 09, 2007

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Agenda Day 1
Day 1 Thursday 8 Nov 2007 8.30 9.00 9.00 9.30 Opening ceremony, Papers presentations and Plenary Discussions Registration and seating of participants Welcome remarks MC: Siapha Kamara- Country Director Send Foundation WACSI UNDP GAPVOD Solidarity message: Hon. Mrs. Frema Osei Opare, Dep Minister, Ministry of Youth & Employment Opening Address Prof.Atsu Aryee Before we were called Civil Society: An overview of popular participation prior to the emergence of structured civil society in Ghana. Tea/Coffee Panel Presentation I: Session Chair: Ms Dorothy Gordon-Director General , Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT Donor / civil society relations and the effectiveness of aid Presenter: Ms Taaka Awori, former Country Director, ActionAid Ghana Assessing the role of civil society in the achievement of the MDGs Presenter: Dr. Nii Moi Thompson The role of civil society in peace-building and conflict prevention in West Africa Presenter: Dr. Ozonnia Ojielo, Senior Governance Advisor UNDP Lunch Panel Presentations II: Session Chair: Dr Esi Sutherland Addy The state of the Ghanaian Media Presenter: Prof. Kwame Karikari Executive Director- Media Foundation for West Africa Regional collaborations and challenges: Enhancing collaboration among Ghanaian civil society and other actors in the sub region Presenter: Prof. Ndongo- Secretary General ,WACSOF Civil society and private sector relations in Ghana Presenter: Mr. Jesse Clottey, Director, GDF/IDEG Plenary Discussions Tea Break Close

9.30 10.00 10.00 10.30

10.30 11.00 12.00 1.00

1.00 2.00 2.00 3.00

3.00 4.00 4.00 4.30 5.00

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Agenda Day 2
Day 2 Friday 9 Nov 2007 9.00 10.30 Presentations, Group work and Thematic Discussions Panel Presentations III: Session Chair: Alhaji Hassan Sunmonu (OON), Secretary General , OATUU Panel Presentations 3: Before we were called Civil Society: An overview of popular participation prior to the emergence of structured civil society in Ghana Presenter :Mr. Kwesi Jonah , Political Science Dept and Scholar-in-Residence IDEG The role of women in Ghanas Past, Present and Future Presenter: Dr Rose Mensah-Kutin, Executive Director, Abantu-ROWA Civil Societys Role in Safeguarding Human Rights Presenter: Prof Attafuah Executive Director of the Justice and Human Rights Institute and Legal Practitioner Kulendi@Law Relationship between civil society and traditional systems of governance Presenter: Mr .K.B. Asante-Retired Diplomat Plenary Discussion Tea/Coffee Break Thematic Group Work sessions Lunch Group Work Presentations and discussions Chair: Lawrencia Adams, Executive Director, POSDEV Strategies for the Way Forward - Communiqu - Rapporteurs report and Recommendations Tea/Close

10.30 11.30 11.30 11.45 11.45 1.45 1.45 2.30 2.30 3.30 3.30 4.30

4.30

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List of Participants
Name ABRAHAM GARSHONG ADU BOAHEN KUDU AJOA YEBOAH-AFARI AKWASI ADDAEBOAHENE ALHAFI A. ABOLAI ALHASSAN UNUS ALLAN LASSEY ANTHONY MENSAH ATISU CHRISTIAN JNR. BEATRICE BOAKYEYIADOM BECKY ADDA-DONTOH BERNICE ADU OFEI BUDALI ISSAHAKU CHRISTIAN LAWRENCE CHRISTIAN YIRENKYI COMFORT ASANTE DANIEL YAO DOTSE DANSO RAYMOND DAPAA BERNICE DAVID NII ADDY DAVID OBUOBI DAVID WEREDU DESEDUN MARTIN ELEN ANUWA-AMAH ELISHA KYIREM ELIZABETH A. BOATENG ELIZABETH AKPALU ENINESE AMUZU EUGENIA A. SAH EUPHEMIA AKOS DZATHOR EVANS GYAMPOH UNIV. COLLEGE GREEN EARTH ORG. CHRISTIAN MOTHER ASSOC. LRC CHRIST FOR ALL TODAY FOUNDATION WANEP/FOR IN PP LRC ORGANISATION CRS GAPVOD GHANA TIMES WUSC EANFORWARD CTF CD SHAWBELL CONSULTS LANDLIFE/FOPGH GENERATION CHANGERS AWDF MOTHERS FOR ACTIVE NON-VOLENCE EARTH SERVICE DFI GHANA CGG (SIERRA LEONE) UNITED NATIONS ASSO. GHANA EDA UNIV. OF GHANA LEGON DATOH GTZ/KAIPTC IMF (IMPACT MAKERS FOUNDATION) Position HEAD OF AUDIT MEMBER EDITOR COUNTRY DIRECTOR EX. DIRECTOR PROGRAMME OFFICER. SNR. MANAGER CHAIRMAN DIRECTOR TEL NO 027 7556085 024 4855131 021 224885 024 4413184 020 8159300 024 4370345 024 4213156 024 2167687 027 6155444 024 2921585 myctfocus@yahoo.co.uk lassey@yahoo.com fopgghana@hotmail.com David-assoc@yahoo.com beatrice@awdf.org bechyadda@yahoo.com earthservice@yahoo.com b-issahaku@dfid.gov.uk clawcere@slcgg.org moco_generalgh@yahoo.com eda_gh4@yahoo.com danieldotse@yahoo.com raymond.danso@minbula.com Efadao1@yahoo.com niiaddy@udistc.org dadobouabi@yahoo.com davidweredu@yahoo.com Celenfemartin@yahoo.com eanuuramarh@yahoo.com greenth@ghana.com addaielizabethe@yahoo.com eqalplalu200@yahoo.com tamuzuok@yahoo.com cfatfo@yahoo.co.uk edzathor@wnep.org evans.gyampoh@undp.org EMAIL ADDRESS agarshong@crsghana.org adubohen30@yhaoo.com ayeboah-africa@yahoo.com

HIV/AIDS PR. OFF. 024 4672779 PRESIDENT SECRETARY SOCIAL DEPT. ADV. SENIOR PROG. OFF. PUBLIC REG. OFF. EX.DIRECTOR LOCAL NUGS. SEC POLING OFFICER TECHNICAL ADV. PROGRAMME DIR. PROJECT DIRECTOR P.R.O RESEARCH STUDT. PROJECT OFFICER EX. DIRECTOR 024 4381104 024 3145552 021 7010340 232 76754120 024 3391410 024 4410178 024 2326653 024 4997044 024 47571772 024 4334907 024 4730437 024 4732986 028 5055947 027 7781218 024 3421200 020 8139288 024 4885026 024 4228040 024 4602755 024 4838532

EDIKANFO FOUNDATION PROG. MANAGER

ADVOCATES FOR GENDER EQUITY EX. DIR. EX. DIRECTOR CEO AFRI. REG, CORD. EX. DIRECTOR

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Reflecting on Civil Societys Evolution in Ghana over the Last 50 Years EVELYN B. SAMPSON FRANK BOAKYEDANKWAH FRANK WILSON BOADZA GEORGE AHADZA GEORGE YORKE GERTRUDE ADU H. TETE-DONKOR H.A. SUNMONU HANNAH SAI-JOHNSON HON. AKOSUA FREMA OPARE INI ONUK OATUU GAPVOD WILDAF GHANA GREEN EARTH ORG. PLAN GHANA WACSOF DEPT.OF SOC. WEIF OATUU SMART CARE FOUNDATION MMYE MINISTRIES INDEPENDENT CONSULTANT GDF/IDEG FAIR RIVER MINO AIDEZ SMALL PROJECT INT. WADR JUSTICE & HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTE THE DEV. INST. GAPVOD WORLD BANK CARE INT GH TUC UNIV. OF GHANA POSDEV WIPSEN-AFRICA SYTO IBIS WEST AFRICA HST GHANA FEDERATION OF THE DISABLED SEND FOUNDATION CDC UNIV. OF GHANA LEGON L.T.C GA TRADITION WEIJA PUBLIC LIBRARY SENEGAL EX. DIRECTOR EX. DIRECTOR EX. DIRECTOR WBI FOCAL DESIGN MEAS.& LEARING CORD HEAD PUBLIC AFF. SENOR LECTURER CEO EX. DIRECTOR DIRECTOR PROGRAMME FACILITATOR COORDINATOR ADVOCACY OFF. PROJECT OFFICER COORDINATOR SRC VICE PRESDT. LA MANTSE CHIEF CHAIRMAN 221 776527583 024 4651917 020 8192239 020 8220812 024 4544708 024 4576424 020 8235224 024 4223984 024 4149106 024 4213156 021 407122 024 9645312 020 8215569 024 2860291 021 716860 024 4560232 024 4663208 024 9220472 021 772396 020 8153902 024 4776734 weijalibraryprojects@hotmail. com mhombam@yahoo.com send@africaonline.com.gh yakubu@pnet.ca nadokwei@yahoo.com posdev@posdev.org wyosen@wipsen-africa.org syto@indgh.com mahama@ibisghana.com kmanah@world.org ansah@caregog.org earfocoorld@yahoo.com karathioune@wadr.org kenattafuah@yahoo.com thederin@africaonline.com.gh GENDER/YOUTH BIZ MAR PROGRAMME OFF. EX. DIRECTOR ADVOCACY/ADV. EXCO MEMBER ASST. DIRECTOR SECRETARY GEN. EX. DIRECTOR DEPUTY MINISTER PROJECT OFFICER 021 768349 020 8184091 020 8766349 024 3060221 021 684548 021 508855 024 4331319 027 4051276 024 4747436 +234 0805 5665309 +251 911 683253 024 4582828 024 3107106 024 6552807 021 508855 jedahu2004@yahoo.com frabodank@yahoo.ko.uk fbadza@yahoo.com greenthe@ghana.com george.yorke@plan-inferneturl. org gartrudegato@yahoo.com harison_teted@yahoo.com oatuu@ighafrica.co annsai@yahoo.com aframa@yahoo.com iniok@yahoo.com

REGIONAL SEMINAR

JESSE CLOTTEY JOSEPH M. AGSUKO JULIE WUTA-EFEI JUSTICE ABDEL MAJEED KARAMOKO THIOUNE KEN ATTAFUAH KEN KINNEY KOFI ADU KOFI MARRAH KOJO ANSAH KWAKU DARKO AFERI KWASI JONAH LAWRENCIA ADAMS LEYMAH GBOWEE LUDU MALIK MAHAMA SEIDU MARTEY WILLIAM G MBOJE MHAMBA MOHAMMED ISSAH NANSATA YAKUBU NII ADOKWEI CODJOE NII KPOBI TETEY TSUWU II NII OKAI II OSMAN AHMED OKYERE

DIRECTOR EX. DIRECTOR ASS. INFO. OFF.

jeneccottey@yahoo.com info@fairriver.org juliewutaofei@yahoo.org

Reflecting on Civil Societys Evolution in Ghana over the Last 50 Years OZONNIA OJIELO PHILIP D. ASARE PRINCE DEH PRINCESS HAMMOND PROF. GHT AKOTEY PROF. OUMOAR NDONGO RENEE KANTEBERG REV. ALBERT KWABI REV. HENRY O. MILLS RICHARD B. AKAPHO ROSE MENSAH-KON RUBY AMABLEO RUBY HAMMOND SAM POKU SAMUEL ANNAN SARAH ADU-GYAMFI SARAH AKUFU-QUACOO SELERM AMEVOR SELINA IDDI ABODULAI SHAMIM MUSUM SOLOMON SAGOE STEPHEN KWAKU DARKU THELMA EKIYOR THEODORA WILLIAMS THEOPHILUS ANNOR THIERRY KPEHOR TSIKE-SOSSAH EYRAM SIMON WILLIAM MENDS UNDP SPD GINKS CARE INTERNATIONAL THE NEEDY CLUB OF GH. WACSOF FRR (RAVI) CHRISTIAN COUNCIL SAFE HAVEN REHAB CENT. GLOCYAD UNDP GCRN GLOCYAD WEST AFRICA BUS. ASSOC. LARN. HELPING LIVING WOMEN MEDIA &CHG. GBC/WIB POBLIZ AGENDA GIRLS GROWTH& DEV. LRC FONDT. FOR FEMALE MDGs YN WACSI FOSDA MURAG WACSI ABUSUA FOUNDATION SEGAF COORDINATOR ADM. ASST. CEO SENIOR ADVISOR MEMBER COORDINATOR P.R.O GENERAL SEC. MANAGER/ CONSULTANT DIRECTOR 081 773996 024 3166567 024 3425443 028 5085396 070 3300956 021 912909 021 773429 philipo@yohoo.com papatenzol@yahoo.com careunation@hotmail.com Tncg9@yahoo.com gapvod@yahoo.com r.kantelberg@frr.co.uk Abtuabi77@yahoo.com safehavencenter@yahoo.com richabern@yahoo.com abuluw@yahoo.com richrbern@yahoo.com sampokuew@abaghana.com

REGIONAL SEMINAR

42

PROJ. COORDINATOR 024 4985156

DRUG COUNSELLOR 027 7864283 EX. DIRECTOR 024 3263643 020 8180662 024 3075773 024 9827233 024 4329622

PROJ. COORDINATOR 020 8925441 PROJ. COORDINATOR 024 4773531 PRESIDENT JOURNALIST GENDER PROG. DIRECTOR PHOTOGRAPHER EX. SEC. EX. DIRECTOR PROGRAMME OFF. COORDINATOR HEAD R&D CEO PROJECT OFFICER 024 42292637 024 4125008 020 8200339 024 6271001 024 2157513 024 3473922 021 764727 024 3203060 021 248068 024 5110294 024 4978428 027 7014288 Silk@sanNy.com gigdevjiso@yahoo.com shamimauslim@yahoo.com ffpnet@yahoo.com gudsteve@yahoo.com thelma@ wacsighana.org theodora@fosda.net murag@africaonline.com.gh thierry@wacsighana.org Hernda2007@yahoo.com williammeds@yahoo.com

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Reflecting on Civil Societys Evolution in Ghana over the Last 50 Years

REGIONAL SEMINAR

Notes

No. 202 Yiyiwa Street P. O. Box AT 1956, Achimota, Accra Tel: 233 21- 778917/18 Fax: 233-21-764727 Website: www.wacsi.org