Focus: Confronting Corruption In Ghana’s Public Institutions And National Life
Dates: Wednesday, 12th Nov, 2014 & Thursday, 20th Nov, 2014
Venue: The Parish Hall Of The Christ The King Catholic Church, @ Swithback Road
Time: 3:30 Pm Each Day
“When a classroom block that is known to cost GH¢ 200,000 to build, is given out on contract for GH¢ 800,000, the name of the game is stealing ; or if you want a fancy name, you might employ fraud. The engineers and quantity surveyors who pad up the numbers to get to GH¢ 800,000 are engaged in fraud, and they should be treated as such.” – Daily Graphic, 22 October 2014- Elizabeth Ohene, former Minister, former BBC Anchor
“Corruption is the enemy of development, and of good governance. It must be got rid of. Both the government and the people at large must come together to achieve this national objective” – Pratibha Patil, 1st Female President of India 2007 to 2012)
Ghana has been plagued with weak institutions since independence. In the decades that have followed, the country’s leadership has ‘danced around the monster in the room,’ simply to secure personal interests at the expense of the taxpayer. Keeping the institutions weak and inefficient has served as a convenient incentive for corruption.
Whiles corruption is usually seen in the form of bribery. These days rather, sadly after 22 years of undisturbed democracy, corruption appears to have given way to more and more naked theft of state funds. Theft is defined as the taking of a property that does not belong to you without the consent or permission of its owner or custodian with the intention of depriving the rightful owner(s) of it permanently.
In the past few years, thievery of state funds, whether in the form of inflated cost of projects or payment for no work done, has witnessed an unprecedented surge and spike. As the incidents of stealing of state funds hike, the country’s economy takes a plunge.
The country’s massive expenditure and accrued debt have not been development-driven nor yielded any visible results or foreseeable future gains. That monster in the room, no doubt, is theft clouded in corruption. It occurs in various forms, one being the abuse of the deliberately-weakened institutions or deliberately-created gaps in the legal framework to both carry out unchecked expenditures and engage in flagrant flouting of the law, for personal gain. In a nutshell, government expenditure is not delivering value for money and has significantly impeded Ghana’s development.
Also, importantly, the weakness of the institutions and associated corruption have weakened confidence in the country’s economy and democracy, which has had a negative impact on economic activities. Ghana’s fiscal deficit stands at GhC10bn. Government continues to spend more than it can afford; yet critical services such as health and education are not receiving their statutory funding. We need to confront thievery and corruption in Ghana’s Public Institutions even us we consider options for reversing the responsibility on accountability as concerned citizens.
So what should be done?
i.Is public interest litigation needed because the courts are handicapped until these cases are brought forth? ii.For instance, should we force the Auditor-General to act on the constitutionally granted powers to enforce fiscal discipline and also to test the law? iii.How much citizen participation should we encourage in fighting these battles? iv.Can we encourage citizen participation e.g. via texting of corrupt cases they see and hear about? v.What about encouraging telecoms to create dedicated short codes, as part of corporate social responsibility to text in ‘poor’ cases of bribery and corruption of public services and servants and also of ‘good and exemplary’ agencies and officials? vi. Should we not promote policies aimed at reducing economic intervention that promote corruption? vii. Why can’t we decentralise the management of power and resources in Ghana? viii. Could full decentralisation, as opposed to social intervention programs such as school feeding and fuel subsidies, be a means to equalise access to welfare and reduce corruption? ix. Should we not review anti-corruption laws and examine which departments/ministries and agencies are awarding contracts in accordance with the law?
Given this background OccupyGhana and IMANI invite you to a two-part seminar under the theme :-“#OCCUPYCORRUPTIONGHANA FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT– SAVING OUR NATION”
DAY I: WEDNESDAY, 12TH NOV, 2014
Venue & Time:
Christ the King Parish Hall, Switchback Road @3:30pm each day
• PASTOR MENSA OTABIL – is a respected Christian statesman: a well-tested pastor, an educator, an entrepreneur, and a motivational speaker. He founded International Central Gospel Church and oversees the multi-faceted network of ministries of the International Central Gospel Church worldwide.
• MANASSEH AZURE AWUNI, Ghana’s Leading Anti-Corruption Journalist and 2012 Ghana Journalist of the Year
• DR. ESI ANSAH is an Assistant Professor at the Ashesi University in Ghana teaching Organizational Behaviour and Human Resource Development. She is also a founding partner of Axis Human Resource Development Group, a socially-conscious HR consultancy based in Ghana and Executive Director of the Paul A. V. Ansah Memorial Foundation.
• LAWYER ACE KOJO ANKOMAH is Managing Partner of Ghana’s largest Law firm, Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah (BEL&A). Ace Ankomah is head of the litigation team at (BEL&A) and one of Ghana’s leading legal lights.
DAY II: THURSDAY, 20TH NOV, 2014
• MOST REVEREND CHARLES PALMER-BUCKLE is a Ghanaian Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church, a former teacher and a key figure in the political scene in Ghana. He is the Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra and is the second Ghanaian native to become Archbishop of Accra. Installed in 2005, he became the 4th Ordinary for Accra since its establishment as a diocese. He was also the first Bishop of Koforidua.
• CDD REP
. MADAM ELIZABETH OHENE- former Minister of State for Education, former BBC Anchor. AtBBC she was a Producer of Radio Programmes, then successively became a Presenter, Senior Producer on World Service and British Domestic Radio, Researcher and Columnist on the Focus on African Magazine and Deputy Editor in the African Service for English Daily Programmes, and in charge of the operational budget.
PROFESSOR H. KWASI PREMPEH– Professor of Law at Seton Hall University School of Law, Newark, New Jersey for the past 10 years. He is a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow one time a Visiting Professor at the newly established law school at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA). Kwasi has written and consulted extensively on issues of constitutionalism, governance, legal policy, and democracy in Ghana and the rest of Africa. Kwasi was the Director of Legal Policy and Governance of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD) and he continues to serve on the Board of Directors of CDD. Kwasi is also a board member of Ashesi University College, a leading private University in Ghana.
We look forward to welcoming you, your family and friends on both days, as we come together to #OccupyCorruptionGhana in line with our civic responsibility and national objective of demanding responsible governance with national development.
We #OccupyGh for God and Country just because we know our Ghana will work again!
George Andah Occupier Franklin Cudjoe
For OccupyGhana Council For IMANI Ghana
For RSVP and further information please reply this email or call Nana Akwasi Awuah on +233 575 415 816
OccupyGhana® is a social and political non-partisan pressure group with the vision of engaging. Ghanaians in development process and ensuring good and responsible governance. We are passionately committed to ensuring that Ghana develops to its full economic potential and remains a strong democracy
ABOUT IMANI GHANA
IMANI’s mission is simply subjecting any government policy that is likely to have systematic implications for development to basic ‘value for money’, ‘due diligence’ and ‘rational choice’, ‘public choice’ and ‘vested interest’ analysis and then actively engage in public advocacy to publicize the results, with a view to promoting peace and prosperity through human flourishing. (Learn more about us)