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General News of Saturday, 16 March 2019


Efforts ongoing to demystify Parliament – Kate Addo

Kate Addo, Director of Parliament's Public Affairs Kate Addo, Director of Parliament's Public Affairs

Director of Parliament’s Public Affairs, Kate Addo has urged Ghanaians to be forthcoming when the invitation of memorandum is opened to solicit public views in the lawmaking process by the House.

This, she said will ensure participatory democracy and enable Ghana fulfill her Open Government Partnership obligation.

According to Kate Addo, plans are far advanced in demystifying Parliament and making it more open to the citizenry.

In view of this, the legislative house is considering several means including making the Chambers accessible to all, particularly PWDs.

Parliament, she disclosed, has also enhanced communication with Ghanaians through the use of new technology tools to ensure interested parties participate during proceedings and has embarked on awareness campaigns to educate citizens on the roles of parliament and the need to be part of activities of the House.

“It’s not possible that all the over 30 million citizens to be in the chambers. What we’re doing now is the use of internet and television to reach all concerned Ghanaians,” she said.

“We’ve made our Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and our website open so people can communicate to us. People who do not have access to the internet are not restricted from coming to parliament. During lawmaking processes, we have something called invitation of memorandum where people present their views. People should participate so that it doesn’t look like the laws are made by just a few and imposed on the entire citizens,” she added.

The Director of Public Affairs of Parliament was speaking at a forum organized by the Parliamentary Training Institute in collaboration with PNAfrica and the Open Government Partnership Secretariat as part of the 2019 Open Governance Week Celebration.

Parliament as part of commitments to promote inclusiveness, accountability and transparency, has joined other member countries to celebrate the 2019 Open Governance Week (OGW).

The OGW celebration on the theme, ‘Promoting Open Governance through deepening parliamentary accountability, partnerships and inclusiveness’ brought together some Members of Parliament, CSOs and Governance experts.

Discussions at the forum, bordered on how the legislature can work better when citizens participate and the belief that more diverse ideas lead to innovative solutions, and when those solutions respond to the needs of the people, citizens’ trust in government increases.

Head of the Parliamentary Training Institute, Gloria Sarku Kumawu expressed her excitement with the celebration of the OGW.

As the first celebration, she believes it will help people understand better their individual responsibilities in ensuring Parliament becomes accountable and transparent.

“We thank the experts and CSOs for sharing their thoughts and we hope this will go a long way to promote inclusiveness,” she said.

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