The rate at which civil society activists are being appointed to head state institutions is gradually decapitating the front of civil society groups in Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe, Founding President of Imani Ghana, has said.
According to him, although these appointments are an indication of the good work Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) are doing in the country, finding replacements for these officials in the activism will be a daunting task.
His comments follow the appointment of Mrs Jean Mensa, the Executive Director for the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) as the new Chair of the Electoral Commission (EC) by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Mr Akufo-Addo, on Monday 23 July 2018, named Mr Mensa as the new Chair to replace Mrs Charlotte Osei, whom he sacked along with her two deputies Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku Amankwah, over procurement breaches and incompetence, per the recommendations of a committee set up by Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo to probe the three commissioners.
Apart from Mrs Mensa, other civil society activists including Dr Mohammed Amin Adams and Linda Ofori Kwafo who were Executive Directors for the Africa Centre for Energy Policy and the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), respectively, have also been appointed as Deputy Minister of Energy and a board member of the Office of the Special Prosecutor, respectively.
Speaking on Metro TV's Good Evening Ghana on the appointment of Mrs Mensa, on Tuesday 25 July, Mr Cudjoe said : “…a part of me actually feels that the excellence of civil society is being harvested by the politicians. Amin was plucked from ACEP, there is the OSP board which has Linda Ofori Kwafo of GII and so we should be grateful.
“It shows that we are doing a lot of work but at the same time a part of me feels that our front is being decapitated in a manner that we would find very difficult to replace competent people like these.”