Ghana’s commitment to transparent governance doubted

The Media Foundation for West African has questioned Ghana’s commitment to transparent governance within the West African bloc, and urged the country to bolster its governance.

 Although Ghana has scored high marks in ensuring a stable democratic regime on the African continent, the MWFA in a statement its website argued that is not enough, as access to information has become difficult.
 
“The right to access information is a fundamental human right guaranteed by regional and international instruments to which Ghana is a signatory,” it said, but noted Ghana has failed to ensure unfettered access to information.
 
Ghana has in the last decade been pursuing the passage of the Right to Information Bill but the draft legislation has protracted in the country’s Parliament.
 
In June this year, the Legal and Constitutional Committee of Parliament opened discussions on the bill and rejected portions, which requires the Minister of Justice to regulate access to information.
 
More than 1,000 amendments have been have been identified in the bill.
 
The Foundation has described the delays in passing the bill as a denial of Ghanaians the right to information, saying, “Ghanaian governments and successive sessions of parliament have denied Ghanaians the legal right to access information”.
 
It noted that several transitional countries in the West Africa region are doing better than Ghana in terms of demonstrating stronger commitment to transparent governance.
 
It particularly mentioned Burkina Faso, Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire. Burkina Faso on August 31, became the seventh country in West Africa and the 17th across Africa to have a Freedom Of Information law.
 
“While we congratulate the transitional leadership in Burkina Faso on taking such a bold decision to foster transparent, accountable and responsive governance, we urge the government and Parliament of Ghana to speed up the process of passing Ghana’s RTI law” it said.
 
The Foundation called on other West African countries to adopt right to information laws to promote transparency and accountability in governance.
 
“We also urge the ECOWAS to adopt a regional framework on access to information in line with the Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.
 
By Stephen Kwabena Effah/3news. com/Ghana
Twitter @steviekgh

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