Since its transition to democratic rule in 1992, Ghana has been considered one of Africa’s most robust democracies. Despite this reputation, the country has experienced some governance challenges over the past decade and falling public trust in the electoral process. Under the USAID-funded Political Accountability Activity (POLA), IFES will work as part of the Consortium for Elections and Political Processing Strengthening (CEPPS) to support Ghanaian civil society and governmental actors to address important issues facing Ghana’s political system as related to accountability and transparency.
IFES is partnering with political and civic actors to support Ghana’s citizens to hold elected officials accountable and contribute to more inclusive political systems that foster active and diverse citizen engagement. Through the POLA project, IFES is strengthening Ghanaian civil society organizations’ (CSOs) knowledge on political finance, anti-corruption, and abuse of state resources in an effort to build public demand for stronger measures to control money in politics. IFES is also partnering with the National Commission for Civic Education to promote civic education, particularly among youth, on political accountability and civic engagement.
Throughout the project, IFES will also support the Electoral Commission in its public accountability and transparency measures and is offering technical assistance for the development and implementation of electoral reforms.
Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, chairman of Ghana’s Electoral Commission, is the recipient of this year’s Joe C. Baxter Award. The Baxter Award is presented annually to professionals whose work epitomizes the mission of IFES—to promote citizen participation, transparency, and accountability in political life and civil society. “Dr. Afari-Gyan has made remarkable contributions to electoral democracy in Ghana, Africa, and throughout the world. He is a shining example of how much one individual can contribute to the advancement of a human right,” says Bill Sweeney, IFES president and CEO.
This report serves as a midterm report on progress towards decentralized democratic governance in Ghana and the implementation of Project ECSELL (Enhancing Civil Society Effectiveness at the Local Level). This report focuses on two IFES programs; communications training and capacity building.
This report analyzes the electoral system in Ghana, specifically, civil society and local government throughout 20 districts. The report discusses the surprises, problems and opportunities as part of Project ECSELL (Enhancing Civil Society Effectiveness at the Local Level).