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State of Civil Society in Ghana after 50 Years of Independence (Ghana at 50) - 2007

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Reflecting on Civil Societys Evolution in Ghana over the Last 50 YearsLa Palm Royal Beach Hotel, Accra, Ghana 8-9 November, 2007

Regional Seminar

Reflecting on Civil Societys Evolution in Ghana over the Last 50 Years

REGIONAL SEMINAR

ContentsList of Acronyms ...................................................................................................................... 1 Executive Summary .................................................................................................................. 2 Introduction ........................................................................................................................... 4 Background ............................................................................................................................. 6 Donor/Civil Society Relations and the Effectiveness of Aid in Ghana ................................................. 9 Civil Societys Role in the Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals ................................... 12 Linkages between Civil Society and Traditional Systems of Governance ............................................ 15 The Role of Civil Society in Peace-building and Conflict Prevention in West Africa ............................. 17 The State of the Ghanaian Media .............................................................................................. 20 Regional Collaborations towards Democracy, Peace and Security in the Sub-region ........................... 23 Civil Society and Private Sector Relations ................................................................................... 25 Womens Role in Ghana: Past, Present and Future........................................................................ 28 Safeguarding Human Rights in Ghana........................................................................................ 31 Conclusion ............................................................................................................................ 33 Appendices ........................................................................................................................... 35 COMMUNIQU: Regional Seminar on Reflecting on Civil Societys Evolution in Ghana over the Last 50 Years La Palm Beach Hotel, Accra, Ghana; November 8 9, 2007 .......................................................... 36 Agenda Day 1 ..................................................................................................................... 38 Agenda Day 2 ..................................................................................................................... 39 List of Participants ................................................................................................................. 40

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Reflecting on Civil Societys Evolution in Ghana over the Last 50 Years

REGIONAL SEMINAR

List of AcronymsAU BUSAC CDD CEPA CHRAJ CSOs DFID DVC ECOWAS EPA EU FGM FIDA FOSDA GAPVOD African Union Business Advocacy Challenge Centre for Democratic Development Centre for Policy Analysis Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice Civil Society Organisations Department for International Development Domestic Violence Coalition Economic Community of West African States Economic Partnership Agreements European Union Female Genital Mutilation Federation of Women Lawyers Foundation for Security and Development in Africa Ghana Association of Private Voluntary Organisations in Development Ghana Integrity Initiative Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy Ghana Research Advocacy Programme Ghana Trade and Livelihoods Coalition International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty Institute for democratic Governance Institute of Economic Affairs International Financial Institutions International Non-Governmental Organisations Integrated Social Development Centre KAIPTC MDBS MDGs MMYE NCA NEPAD NETRIGHT NGOs NMC NUGS OSIWA PRSP RAVI SYTO TWN UN UNCT UNDP USAID WACSI WACSOF WADR WANEP WASU Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre Multi-Donor Budgetary Support Millennium Development Goals Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment National Communications Authority New Partnership for Africas Development Network for Womens Rights in Ghana Non-Governmental Organisations National Media Commission National Union of Ghana Students Open Society Institute of West Africa Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper Rights and Voice Initiative Student and Youth Travel Organisation Third World Network United Nations United Nations Country Team United Nations Development Programme United States Agency for International Development West Africa Civil Society Institute West Africa Civil Society Forum West African Democratic Radio West Africa Network for Peacebuilding West African Students Union

GII GPRS G-RAP GTLC ICISS IDEG IEA IFI INGOs ISODEC

Reflecting on Civil Societys Evolution in Ghana over the Last 50 Years

REGIONAL SEMINAR

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Executive SummaryThe West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) established by the Open Society for West Africa (OSIWA) and the United Nations Development Programmes Civil Society Resource Centre in Ghana in collaboration with the Ghana Association of Private Voluntary Organisations in Development (GAPVOD) organised a two day Regional Seminar on the theme Reflecting on Civil Societys Evolution in Ghana over the Last 50 Years in Accra, Ghana from the 8-9 November, 2007. The objective of the seminar was to provide a platform for a cross-section of over 100 civilsociety actors to reflect on the progress, challenges and future of civil society in Ghana. Participants at the seminar were drawn from Ghana and across the West African sub-region and included government representatives, donor agencies and organisations, UN agencies, international non-governmental organisations and the private sector.The following recommendations emerged from the seminar: National Level Government should hasten the implementation and achievement of the MDGs. Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) should systematically be involved in the monitoring and evaluation of progress made on issues such as poverty, HIV/ AIDS and gender equality in the MDGs. Comprehensive documentation should be carried out on civil societys contribution in Ghana, for ease of reference and to build credibility. Mobilisation and active engagement of civil society in pre-election advocacy, election monitoring and observation particularly during the upcoming 2008 Ghanaian elections. Donor agencies and organisations should ensure that their relationships with civil society are not only financial but practical as well, by engaging CSOs in the realisation of their work as well as their impact in Ghana. The principles which underpin the relations between civil society and donors require clear definition. Civil society should take strategic steps to negotiate with donors in this direction. Civil society must redefine its position and continuously evaluate its operations in areas of accountability, transparency and internal governance. The capacity of Ghanaian civil society should

Presentations and panel discussions at the seminar covered the following key thematic areas: The emergence of structured civil society in Ghana Civil societys role in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Linkages between civil society and traditional systems of governance Human rights in Ghana The state of the Ghanaian media The role of women in Ghanas past, present and future Civil society and private sector relations in Ghana Donor/Civ i l societ y relat ion s a nd t he effectiveness of aid Regional collaborations to democracy, peace and security in the sub-region Peace and conflict resolution in West Africa

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Reflecting on Civil Societys Evolution in Ghana over the Last 50 Years

REGIONAL SEMINAR

be strengthened to mediate in conflict through conflict resolution training, mediation services and dialogue facilitation. Civil society must also work to alleviate social tensions by challenging racism, xenophobia and discrimination, whilst promoting tolerance and a culture of peace. Civil society must advocate for National Broadcasting legislation, to regulate the sector. Private sector and civil society alliances should be forged for community development. C ol l a b o r at io n s b e t we e n c iv i l s o c ie t y organisations working on human rights and government agencies such as the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) should be forged and sustained. Civil society should use the inf luence and potential of the traditional systems of governance to make significant inroads in the areas of HIV/ AIDS, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), and violence against women.

advocacy, campaigns and protests. These would have the effect of making the government and state structures more responsive to the needs of their citizenry. There is a need for civil society to improve their knowledge base of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), its provision for CSOs and its workings in areas of peace and security. Sta keholders shou ld be engaged in t he functionality of the ECOWARN1. There should be formation of sub-groups on thematic areas to forge stronger engagements in sub regional activities.

Monitoring and Evaluation Activities Equal Opportunities Commissions, Gender Commissions, the media, civil society and research institutions should be watchdogs monitoring the implementation of the MDGs and the implementation of regional and international mechanisms.

Regional Level Civil society in Ghana must continue to play a critical role in peace-building and the prevention of conf licts across West Africa bearing in mind Ghanas historical background. Issues of structural violence must be tackled by promoting human security through initiat

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