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ACEP launches Braille Version of GHEITI Report

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Energy Think Thank, Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has launched the Braille version of Ghana Extractive Industries’ Transparency Initiative (GHEITI) report to be used by the visually impaired.

The Centre in collaboration with Oxfam Ghana transcribed the GHEITI report into Braille version that can be used by the visually impaired in Ghana as an intervention that seeks to bridge the gap where such key reports and public documents regularly discriminates against and marginalizes the needs and interest of Persons with Disability (PWDs) including the visually impaired.

The Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative [EITI] is a global initiative which seeks to promote improved and transparent resource governance approaches that ensures that resource extraction is translated into growth and development for the benefit of the people.

Unfortunately, this report is not in a form that the visually impaired can use as a source of information that can influence decisions on demanding accountability, take advantage of opportunities in the extractive sector and to contribute to national development.

Benjamin Boakye, the Executive Director of ACEP was not happy that such report do not make intellectual consumption provision for the physically challenge and visually impaired hence the paradigm shift from the exclusion of PWDs from GHEITI report to what he described as “inclusive development.” “Inclusive development”, he said, entail harnessing every Ghanaian human resource for socio-economic development no matter their disability and infirmity.

He said “being inclusive in our development we create opportunity for all.” The Executive Director of ACEP was of a firm conviction that the time has come for his outfit to mainstream gender and social protection into its work.

Hon. Cynthia Morrison, the Minister for Gender and Social Protection launched the report. The Agona West legislator made a passionate appeal to members of the disability community to close their ranks, unified under one body and become a strong force in order to fight for their rights.

She said there was the need for PWDs to coordinate their activity when it comes to development in order to put them in a strategic position to access their money which has been lodged in the district assembly common fund.

The Gender and Social Protection Minister stated PWS should not be marginalized when it comes to social, economic and political development of the country because everybody is a potential disable person.

Dr. Obeng Asamoah, the Executive Director of Ghana Blind Union was excited about the launch of the Braille version of GHEITI report, saying it would afford their members an unfettered access to such informative national information.

He said his outfit had being fighting for right to information on such sensitive national documents and was therefore happy that Braille version of GHEITI report has been unveiled. The Executive Director of Ghana Blind Union was also elated that his members can now read above mentioned report and understand the economy and how the country’s natural resources are used. Dr. Obeng Asamoah applauded ACEP for the innovative initiative and intervention.

Mr. Francis Ayamga Agbere, the Extractive Industry Programme and Campaigns Manager of Oxfam in his delivery said his outfit would continue to reach out to PWDs including the visually impaired in their bid to participate in discussion on issues concerning the country’s natural resources.

Source: Adovor Nutifafa

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