MfWA urges government to pass RTI Bill

Prosper K. Kuorsoh, GNA

Wa, July 25, GNA – The Media Foundation for
West Africa (MfWA) has called on government to expedite action on the passage
of the long awaited Right To Information (RTI) Bill before Parliament.

It said when passed, the Bill will improve
public access to information which will lead to a well informed and productive
citizenry as well as promote transparency and accountability.

Professor Kwame Karikari, Board Member of the
MfWA, made the call during the launch of the project “Promoting Citizen’s
Participation in local Governance through Increased Access to Information” by
the MfWA and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).

He lamented how such an important Bill has
been left to rust in the shelves of Parliament while the country lost numerous

Prof Karikari also appealed to the Ministry of
Communications to improve the weak communication system in the Upper West
Region to enhance network coverage in all communities for easy communication.

He also recommended to the National
Communication Authority (NCA) to facilitate the establishment of a community
Radio Station in the Wa East District to improve citizen’s access to
information for a well-informed society.

The Board Member of the MfWA also urged the
Ministry of Tourism to take the needed steps to develop the Wechiau Hippo
Sanctuary and other potential tourists’ sites to create jobs and promote local
tourism for economic development.

Prof Karikari called on the Inspector General
of Police (IGP) to improve security in the Wa East and Wa West Districts by
improving police staffing in the districts while the Ministry of Lands and
Natural Resources took steps to stop the illegal harvesting of rosewood in the

Prof Karikari said giving information to the
citizenry was a right enshrined in the Constitution and appealed to
Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the country to use
the media effectively to meet this obligation.

He said the Upper West Region fell short in
many aspects of development despite its potential and called on the MMDAs to
collaborate effectively with the media in the region to market such potentials
to attract investors to come and help harness such potentials.

Mr Amidu Chinnia Issahaku, Deputy Upper West
Regional Minister, who launched the project on behalf of the Regional Minister,
Mr Sulemana Alhassan commended the MfWA and OSIWA for the project and for its
continued effort at deepening good governance in the region.

He said through such complementary advocacy
efforts, citizen’s participation in governance was gradually picking up and
that Ghanaians were beginning to take interest in issues of governance.

Mr Issahaku said the access to information
project was a great opportunity to improve the information disclosure between
community citizens and local authorities through weekly radio programmes,
quarterly “State of the District Broadcasts” and community forums among others.

Mr Issahaku Tahiru Moomin, Wa Municipal Chief
Executive (MCE), pledged on behalf of his colleagues their commitment to work
closely with the media to inform the citizenry in order to improve their
participation in local governance.

Wa Municipal, Wa East, Wa West, Lawra and
Sissala East are the five selected Districts to benefit from the project in the
Upper West Region.


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