Ghana has chalked another feat in the eyes of the international community.
It is now the fifth democracy in Africa, an achievement brought about as a result of sustained effort to improve on democratic structures since 1992. Ghana was ranked the 53rd in the world in the 2015 prestigious Democracy index. This is a huge leap by 15 places from the 2014 ranking, according to President John Mahama.
In a Facebook post on Friday, an elated Mahama who is attending the anti-corruption summit in London said assured that his government will continue to improve democratic practices in Ghana.
"I participated in the UK-organised anti-corruption summit in London yesterday. Ghana is present at this summit as one of the most successful democracies in Africa, and I had the opportunity to share our story with other leaders and engaged in some media interactions.
"If you didn’t know already, I am happy to inform you that we are now, officially, the fifth democracy in Africa. In the prestigious Democracy Index 2015, we were ranked 53rd in the world, a leap of no less than 15 places since 2014. This significant leap offers others inspiration and hope," the President wrote.
He continued: "Our democratic success in the last four years is - and will continue to be - doubled by our success in the fight against corruption. This summit offers us the opportunity to find new, innovative solutions, and also to showcase the important steps we have been taking to fight corruption.
"For me, it is of paramount importance that we move forward. Ghana’s anti-corruption agenda as contained in the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (2015-2024) and our commitments under the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).
The President commended the general public for their commitment and hard work and said “our vision and dedication earned us a well-deserved place in the community of nations. Let us all keep moving forward and upwards!.”
On Thursday President Mahama who granted interview to the BBC said he is taking the political risk in the open fight against corruption.
“You know corruption is not ended. It’s a tough fight. We have an uphill battle but we need a partnership of the willing to be able to do it. In a country like ours, you have a heightened perception of corruption because people are able to discuss it more freely but to move the next step where you expose it, investigate and sanction it, then you need evidence to bring it before a judge or something like that; and that’s what we are doing. I’ve the political will to fight corruption,” he said.
Asked whether he has been bribed before, the President answered in the negative.
He told Peter Okwoche....“I have expressed the political will and I have said that if corruption is brought to my attention. I will let the appropriate organisation investigate it and if we find evidence that somebody has been corrupt we will deal with them. And that’s why you have cases taking place under my government that have been investigated. It would not have been the same in previous regimes. There have been previous regimes where the leader; people have said that they will not investigate corruption and bring down their government. I have not taken that attitude; I have said if allegations are made we will investigate them and those found culpable will be dealt with.”
NPP activists and political opponents have since tried to rubbish the President’s comments insisting he cannot absolve himself from the scandals uncovered by his administration. But a staunch NPP activists and former Member of Parliament who has earned recognition as an Anti-corruption Campaigner has strongly defended the President.
P.C Appiah Ofori, who spoke on Accra based CITI FM said President John Dramani Mahama is not corrupt.
His comments come barely a day after the President boldly stated in a BBC interview on the sidelines of the anti-corruption summit in London, that he has never accepted bribe.
The President’s comment has been met with mixed reactions with some suggesting that the President may not have been truthful with his response.
The former NPP MP, who never shies away from exposing alleged corrupt practices even in his own party, said President Mahama as a person is not corrupt per what he knows about him.
“I must say it with all honesty that he as a person as I know is not corrupt. I can vouch 100% that he is not corrupt…”
P.C Appiah was however quick to add that, the President has not done enough to translate that personal character in tackling corruption in his government.
According to the former MP, he has known the President since their days in Parliament, but does not endorse his posture to the fight against corruption.
In 2014, the Parliament of Ghana unanimously adopted the 10-year National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP 2015 - 2024) as a non-partisan document, a blueprint for fighting corruption in the country. The bold initiative by the Mahama Administration has four strategic objectives;
· to build public capacity to fight corruption and make its practice a high-risk, low-gain activity;
· to institutionalize efficiency, accountability and transparency in the public, private and not-for profit sectors;
· to engage individuals, media, private Sector and civil society organizations in reporting and combating corruption; and
· to conduct effective investigations and prosecution of corrupt conduct
It contains strategic action plans identified and agreed upon by stakeholders, including the private sector and civil society, during nationwide consultations. Its greatest strength is that it is to be directly integrated into national development planning.
In March 2015, H.E. the President issued directives to all public institutions to implement NACAP, which will form part of the performance appraisal of Ministers, Chief Directors and CEOs of state institutions. Implementing institutions are also required to submit quarterly reports to CHRAJ with copies to the Office of the President (OOP).
Source: The Citizen’s Mail
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