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The EU funded Ghana Anti-Corruption, Rule of Law and Accountability Programme (ARAP) in collaboration with CHRAJ and NCCE has organized a multi stakeholder training workshop on public education for anti-corruption agencies, law enforcement agencies and public education institutions in the country.
Participants at the workshop were taken through anti-corruption campaign message and content development that influences behavioural change, target audience identification and for them to identify areas for collaboration to facilitate the fight against corruption.
The three day workshop, which was held in Ada in the Greater Accra Region from May 15-17, 2017, brought together prosecutors, investigators, researchers, administrators, public and civic education experts among others from the Police Service, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Parliament, Judiciary, Civil Society Organization and other state agencies.
Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Director of Anti-Corruption at CHRAJ Mr. Charles Ayamdoo- was unhappy with the low level of involvement and participation of stakeholders towards the implementation of National Anti Corruption Action Plan (NACAP) in the fight against corruption. According to him, though there have been an increase in the number of participating institutions, the rate of increase is not encouraging.
In the first year of the implementation of the programme in 2014, 19 stakeholders/institutions reported on the implementation of their activities under NACAP; this has however increased to 55 stakeholders at the end of 2016. “Though we have seen an increase from 19 to 55 stakeholder participation, the increase is not as expected since there are about 200 public institutions, 216 MMDAs and about 3500 CSOs in the country”, he noted.
He observed that this low participation and involvement of the institutions in implementing the NACAP could be attributed to lack of resources and awareness on NACAP activities, which he quickly added that his outfit is working hard to address. “We are currently addressing these challenges and we also have assurances from the current government to support NACAP achieve its objectives”, he added.
He hinted that NACAP has presented its first Annual Progress Report to Parliament for consideration and approval after which CHRAJ is expected to use the approved document to produce the state of corruption in Ghana to be presented to the general public in December this year.
The main aim of the NACAP is to ensure that all stakeholders agree to contextualize and mobilize all resources to combat corruption in the country. To achieve this, NACAP has formulated four action points to deal with the challenges and these include building of public capacity to fight corruption; transparency, accountability and efficiency in preventing corruption; participation of civil society; and investigation and prosecution.
The Deputy Chairman in charge of Operations at the NCCE, Mr. Samuel Asare Akuamoah was of the view that the fight against corruption needs a collaborative effort, particularly in the area of public education which is the mandate of NCCE.
“Civic education is a shared responsibility therefore the support and collaboration between NCCE and other institutions in the country should be encouraged”, this he believes would have an overall impact in the fight against corruption.
Mr. Akuamoah held the view that bringing the state institutions and other stakeholders together to deliberate and collaborate sets the agenda for the appreciation of oneness and presenting a united front towards the fight against corruption. He however encouraged stakeholders to show commitment towards this fight by playing their roles as individuals and also partners to yield the desired results.
The Governance Advisor to the EU, Sotirios Bazikamwe, noted that the EU having observed the impact of corruption on development and human lives in the past decades, decided to support the strengthening of institutions across the world to fight the canker.
He stressed that the programme is wholly owned by the Ghanaian institutions while the EU is only providing support to ensure the success of the programme. The European Union (EU) delegation to Ghana is the funding partner of the ARAP programme.
ARAP, launched in May 2016 in Accra, is a five year programme of EUR 20 million aimed at supporting the anticorruption, rule of law and accountability programmes.
The objective of the programme is to build the capacity of civic education providers such as the –NCCE, CHRAJ, CSOs, and the media– to conduct campaigns, advocate and lobby for increased accountability and a reduction in corruption. Secondly, it is aimed at strengthening law enforcement agencies. This includes building the capacity of prosecutors to prosecute corruption and related offences. It also aims at building the capacity of the Judiciary to hear and decide corruption cases and related offences, as the best means of enhancing accountability standards in the country. And it will also support the police and judiciary to combat corruption amongst their ranks.