The Government, on Tuesday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding, (MoU), with four Christian Faith-Based Organisations (FBOs) to strengthen their partnership for expediting joint actions toward the socio-economic transformation of Ghana.
Under the agreement, the Ministries of Finance and Employment and Labour Relations are to formalise the contributions of the FBOs and non-state stakeholders in national development.
The collaboration falls within the framework of the Social Partnership Agreements – a developmental paradigm aimed at complementing the Government’s transformational agenda and the Ghana Beyond Aid vision.
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta signed on behalf the Government; while the Reverend Father Lazarus Anondee, the Secretary General of the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference, (GCBS) and the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church, Ghana, Most Rev. Dr. Paul K. Boafo, signed on behalf of GCBC and the Christian Council of Ghana, respectively.
The other signatories are: the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches, Rev Professor Paul Frimpong Manso and – National Association of Charismatic Christian Churches (NACCC), Apostle Nii Amponsah.
Mr. Ofori Atta said the contribution of FBOs to national development over the years had been invaluable, thus making them suitable partners in driving the government’s developmental agenda.
The objective, he said, was, therefore, to strengthen ethical behaviour and counsel the value-based national identity, facilitate, promote core values in the Bible and the Constitution and Ghana Beyond Aid Charter to realise a moral transformation of citizens.
It is also to mobilise and administer resources to address prevalent socio-economic concerns and social protection for the vulnerable.
“The FBOs have over the years provided critical social infrastructure services and these have been in various forms including schools, hospitals and other social services,” he underlined.
“Indeed, a vast percentage of top second cycle education institutions were established by the churches and have produced national personalities who have positively impacted our nation’s development.
“Other examples are its provision of 40 per cent of all the health institutions in Ghana, contributions to the cocoa industry…”.
With a branch network of more than 30,000 across the entire nation, the FBOs, the Minister said, possessed an effective transformation mechanism to reach an estimated 71.2 per cent of citizens who profess the Christian faith.
“…And they possess the professional expertise, governance and administrative competence and a proven track record of social interventions and are positioned as a strategic engine for the development of our nation,” he added.
Mr. Ofori-Atta explained that the partnership was one of the Government’s efforts at creating its own developmental model through the strengthening of domestic potentials and to reduce reliance on others by creating a Wealthy, Inclusive, Sustainable, Empowered and a Resilient (WISER) society.
The Government, he said would continue to examine alternative tracks for development to ensure value for money and ensure local that government worked closely with FBOs to avoid duplications, save costs and increase accountability.
For his part, Most Rev Dr. Boafo, said the Christian Council over the years had had numerous partnerships with governments all geared towards the improvement of the citizenry.
The Council, therefore, fully supported the initiative introduced by the government.
Rev Fr Anondee said the partnership would help the parties marshal all available resources to ensure development.
He assured the parties of his side’s readiness to work with other FBOs to ensure the realisation of the initiative.
Rev Prof Paul Frimpong Manso said even though the behaviour of some men of the Christian faith gave a cause to worry, the contribution of FBOs to development should not be downgraded and commended government for initiating the partnership.
Apostle Amponsah said he believed that through the partnership the skills and integrity of human resource would be harnessed for the development of the nation.