Former President John Mahama has again reiterated the need for collaborative partnership of mutual respect among government, civil society organisations, labour unions, the private sector and key stakeholders to put Ghana first on any agenda to address the current economic challenges.
Speaking at an engagement with CSOs in Accra on Tuesday, 22 November 2022, Mr Mahama said: “I daresay that together, we are in a better place to help our country out of its current socio-economic predicament”.
The event themed; ‘THE GHANA WE WANT’ – brought together over 45 CSOs and think tanks to brainstorm on critical governance bottlenecks at the Miklin Hotel in East Legon, Accra.
The CSOs shared varied opinions on what they believe could be a Ghana that is free, organized, and a rule-based society.
They also want Ghana’s democracy to reflect the will of the people and a Ghana that has a clear national agenda and the need to decentralize decision-making to taps the views of many.
Key among the consensus reached were the need to review the 1992 Constitution, concrete and verifiable steps to clamp down on corruption, urgent need to slash the over bloated public service to free the public purse to take care of other critical needs, de-politicize security agencies, ensure value for money for all projects and pass laws that will bind all governments to complete ongoing projects, build resilient and competent institutions that can withstand political interference, adopt a National Development Plan that binds every government to follow an accepted growth plan, stop nepotism and most especially political appointments of unqualified persons.
Former president in response, emphasized the importance of such engagements and the benefit to the governance process, especially by tapping experiences from persons, who otherwise are outside the official channels of policy-making.
“What is required is a partnership, collaboration, mutual respect and an understanding that governance and efforts at meeting the needs of the ordinary Ghanaian are a shared responsibility between particularly, government, civil society, the private sector, labour and other key stakeholders”, he noted.
Mr Mahama lauded CSOs for transitioning from a fighting posture to now being conversational.
“There is, currently, a shift away from aggressive confrontations to constructive, civil conversations”, Mr Mahama observed, pointing out: “Normally, the engagements were confrontational with the government but now, it is more of a civil conversation, and they have also enhanced their relevance with new capacities in terms of research and data analysis, thereby serving as storehouses for alternative policy ideas”. – he emphasized.
Present were his 2020 Running Mate, Professor Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang, Professor Emmanuel Akwetey of IDEG, Imani Africa’s founding member, Franklyn Cudjoe, Kofi Asare of Africa Education Watch, Executive Director – Media Foundation for West Africa, Suleimana Briama, Ghanaian lawyer, gender activist, and the Executive Director of The Ark Foundation Ghana, Angela Dwamena-Aboagye, Mensah Thompson of ASEPA, Benjamin Essuman of think tank, Solidaire Ghana, and Dr Kofi Asante of the Center for Democratic Development, CDD.
Others well represented CSOs include the Africa Center for Energy Policy, ACEP, Center for Social Democracy, Center for Democratic Transitions, GACC, ISODEC, SEND Ghana, Ghana Integrity Initiative, Amnesty International, COPEC GHANA, National Association of Law Students, GJA, CARE GHANA, ACEP, NDC’s Professionals Forum, Starr Ghana, IDEG, Center for Social Democracy, feminine and disability groups.