The following text was contributed by the Government of Ghana.
Ghana already enjoys an enviable status as a beacon for democracy in Africa and has demonstrated exceptional maturity in democracy over the past two decades. The opportunity to help show the way to open and effective governance is here as she joins member-countries of Open Government Partner (OGP) to empower citizens and improve lives.
In September 2011, Ghana signed on to OGP. This decision was borne out of Ghana’s zeal for the promotion of democracy and good governance demonstrated through existing provisions enshrined in the 1992, Fourth Republican Constitution.
Ghana as a country has past and on-going government initiatives and actions which are aligned with the OGP values and principles. Government has adopted and implemented a variety of measures in governance and is doing well in each of the four thematic areas under OGP namely Transparency; Citizen Participation; Accountability and Technology and Innovation.
The national Steering Committee (SC) for OGP Ghana was inaugurated on August 29, 2012 by Hon. Alhassan Azong, Minister of State at the Presidency in charge of Public Sector Reform (PSR) and Member of Parliament (MP) for Builsa-South in the Upper-East Region. The composition of the 20-member SC is a model of the OGP International Steering Committee with equal representation from Government and Civil Society Organizations (CSO).
The Public Sector Reform Secretariat (PSRS) under the Office of the President serves as the secretariat for OGP-Ghana.
Ghana’s Action Plan was produced with support from the World Bank. In accordance with the process of multi-stakeholder consultations agreed by OGP member countries, consultations were held with full participation of invited participants from Government and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).
Three Zonal Public Consultations took place in October, followed by a National Validation forum in Accra on November 7th 2012. The public consultations for the Northern Zone (Upper East, Upper West and Northern regions) was held in Tamale on October 17th, the Middle Zone (Brong Ahafo, Ashanti and Eastern Regions) in Kumasi on October 24th while the Southern Zone (Volta, Central, Western, Greater Accra regions) was held in Cape Coast on October ,31st.
With the view to ensuring that the core ideals, policies and rules of partnership between Government and Civil Society Organizations established by the Global OGP are upheld, representatives from both Government and Civil Society Organizations were encouraged to participate and contribute ideas for the preparation of the Action Plan.
The SC has had several meetings starting with the planning of public consultations towards the development of the Action Plan through its validation to its presentation at the International OGP forum in London in April, 2013.
Ghana is preparing its “Inspiring Story” from the extractive industry sector to be presented at the forth-coming OGP meeting in London in October, 2013.
Meanwhile, Parliament has passed the Code of Conduct for public officers. Government has also asked Parliament to pass the Right to Information (RTI) Bill by the close of the year.
In order to ensure successful implementation of the Action Plan, the Public Sector Reform Secretariat has planned zonal sensitization workshops for Government Officials and CSOs whose roles are critical to the implementation of the Action Plan. A first forum for Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as selected CSOs is due to take place on September 26th, 2013 with the support of the World Bank.
It is expected that all institutions identified in the Action Plan will commit their resources to achieve the envisaged open government result.
Ghana's Letter of Intent to Join OGP: