A National Stakeholder meeting of the Open Governance Partnership (OGP) has been held to validate the priority areas outlined in the draft of the 4th National Action Plan (NAP).
The meeting is also to agree on the commitment areas that would be implemented over the next two years under the fourth NAP.
In that regard, the meeting would present a draft of the 4th NAP to key stakeholders, ensure that participants verify and confirm the priorities agreed for the action plan and validate modality or framework to monitoring the implementation of the NAP.
In a brief statement before the validation process on Wednesday in Accra, the Senior Presidential Advisor, Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, observed, that the consultative process that led to the drafting of the action plan had been successful and “your views have been well incorporated into the draft of the 4th OGP National Action Plan.”
The Senior Presidential Advisor said some of the key issues and priority areas that came up for discussion and if affirmed would find their way into the fourth OGP NAP included Open and Transparent Tracking of Public Investment, 2019, Act 990, Asset Declaration by Public Officers, 1998, Act 550, Office of the Special Prosecutor, 2017, Act 959, and Beneficial Ownership, 2019, Act 992.
Others included the Fiscal Responsibility, 2018, Act 982, Right to information, 2019, Act 989, Civic Participation and Accountability, and Technology and Innovation.
Mr. Osafo-Maafo hinted that Ghana had been a member of the OGP since September 2011, and member countries were expected to develop and implement action plans every two years.
He indicated that subsequent to that, Ghana had developed and implemented three OGP National Action Plans through a broad-based consultative process among Government, CSOs and other stakeholders for submission to the Global OGP Secretariat.
Mr. Osafo-Maafo said the fourth NAP was due this year and he was appreciative of the good work done by participants in the National Stakeholder Consultative process that drafted the plan.
The Senior Presidential Advisor said, “At the end of it, we all should see improvement in governance in the country and make sure that we can attest to this improvement ourselves.”
Mr. Osafo-Maafo tasked the Secretariat to make sure they gave publicity to what was happening since a lot of people did not know much about OGP issues.
Mrs. Linda Ofori-Kwafo, Executive Director of Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), in quoting the CEO of the Open Government Partnership, Sanjay Pradhan, said, OPG was premised on the belief that the exercise of democracy must not be restricted to the ballot box, but rather practiced everyday by citizens moulding and overseeing the policies that affected their lives.
Mrs Ofori-Kwafo therefore indicated that “the partnership empowers champions of citizens’ interests, notably government and civil society to co-create action plans, where governments publicly commit to concrete reforms that make government more open, participatory, and responsive to citizens, while citizens and civil society organizations engage to shape and oversee governments between and beyond elections.”
Prior to the drafting of the 4th NAP, a consultant was engaged to facilitate and lead the process of developing Ghana’s OGP NAP and he presented the report on the review conducted on Ghana’s previous OGP NAP and political economy analysis.
Stakeholders were given the opportunity to make inputs in terms of the four thematic areas of the OGP, which were Transparency, Accountability, Citizen’s Participation and Innovation & Technology, and to make the consultation extensive, it was replicated on virtual platforms to reach out to more stakeholders for more views.