A program which seeks to enhance transparency and social inclusion in Ghana’s parliament has been launched as part of efforts to promote good governance in the country.
The Ghana Inclusive and Accountable Politics program spearheaded by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy and Parliament of Ghana among other things, seeks to bring parliament to the door steps of the citizens.
Through the adoption of more inclusive, accountable and open systems of public engagement, the program will promote social inclusion and responsibility on the part of the lawmaking institution.
First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joe Osei Owusu, speaking at the program highlighted the lack of communication between citizens and parliamentarians as a key reason they are unable to hold to book these leaders in their constituencies.
He noted that misrepresentation of government’s actions and inactions also must be blamed.
“It is argued that the citizens are often not able to hold their representatives accountable as they are not well involved in the governance process. This may be attributed to the fact that access to government officials are often headed by the distance, particularly for those living in the remote part of the country. Or there are inadequate and ineffective communication system. And the lack of information about governance policies and programs, I will add misreportage of government actions and inactions.”
Program Officer for the National Council for persons with disability, Michael Sackey, on his part mentioned that the social inclusion part of the program will be more beneficial to physically challenged persons in the country.
According to him, persons with disability more often than not are ridiculed in Ghana though they, like any other person, possess potentials which can help eradicate the negative consequences of their inability.
“The image of persons with disability in Ghana is greatly ridiculed with discrimination, stigma, low level of education and poverty… it is a fact that people with physical, mental, intellectual or developmental disability have their own capabilities which when properly harness would help mitigate the negative consequences of their inabilities.”
He however appealed to parliament to engage and sensitize the physically challenged persons in society to help deal with the situation and encourage them.
“We call on parliament to engage more with the national council of persons with disability organization which will enable them their full potentials.”