A study conducted by the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD) indicates that Ghana is making significant progress in institutionalizing democracy in the Fourth Republic. The study concludes that although advances have been made in deepening good governance, this has not translated into economic relief and popular welfare for the generality of the people.
The Associate Executive Director of CDD, Dr Baffour Agyeman-Duah, who presented these findings in Accra, said the study titled ''Monitoring Progress towards Good Governance in Ghana'' was commissioned by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
The survey forms part of a continent-wide exercise to monitor good governance in various countries.
Dr Agyeman-Duah said good governance within the parameters of the survey means equitable political representation, effective economic management and corporate governance. He said it also includes the protection of human rights and respect for the rule of law as well as institutional transparency, accessibility and accountability.
He said the 1992 Constitution serves as a solid foundation and guide for actual governmental practices and institutional development, adding that "the study found widespread acceptance of democratic constitutional rule." He said there is an overwhelming opinion among elites and ordinary citizens that there is a stable multi-party electoral environment in Ghana with reasonably strong political parties, which enjoys high credibility and its election outcomes have gained public trust.
The survey revealed a high degree of public participation in politics and policy making, adding that "the study found that religious organizations and political parties are the most reliable point of political consultation."
With regards to institutional effectiveness and accountability, he said the study shows that Parliament earns high commendation as a law-making body and for enforcing controls and accountability.
Dr Agyeman-Duah said the study indicated that there is high perception of corruption in certain public institutions, especially the Judiciary and the public service.
He said the poor governance and mismanagement characterize both the public and private corporate sectors but noted that the study revealed people’s confidence in the government’s determination to develop both the private and public sectors.
The media, he said, are regarded as enjoying significant independence and helping to promote accountability and good governance.
Responding to the findings of the survey, the Dean of the Faculty of Social Studies of the University of Ghana, Prof Joseph Aryee, commended the CDD for the study but said it should have incorporated in it the level of decentralization and whether the relationship between the district assemblies and the central government is one of partnership or patronage.
Source: Joy Online