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19 February 2017

Project on citizenry participation in governance launched

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Archbishop Gabriel Justice Anokye (standing), Archbishop of Kumasi and Episcopal Chairman for Governance Justice and Directorate of the Catholic Church, delivering his address at the launch of the Local Governance Project in Accra. Picture: PATRICK DICKSON

The Catholic Bishops Conference (CBC) has initiated a project to increase citizens’ participation in local governance to ensure rapid national development.

In line with the project, capacity-building workshops will be held for officers of the Justice and Peace Commission of the National Catholic Secretariat who will be expected to go into the communities to educate the citizenry on the need for them to participate in local governance.

The CBC said the initiative had become necessary because of the increasing apathy of citizens in local governance participation over the years.

The project will be implemented in collaboration with the government and with support from Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), an international Christian non-governmental organisation ( NGO).

It will be implemented on the theme, “participation in local governance for rapid development.”

Project launch

Launching the project in Accra yesterday, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Kumasi and Episcopal Chairman in charge of Governance, Justice and Peace Directorate of the Catholic Church, Most Rev. Gabriel Justice Anokye, said the church was working together with the government in many ways to enhance national development.

“Our efforts are well known in the health and education sectors and we have decided not to confine ourselves to the two, but broaden the horizon further,” he said.

As a result, Most Rev. Anokye said the church decided to collaborate with the government to educate the public on local governance as part of the her social responsibility.

Presenting highlights of the project, the Director in charge of Governance, Justice and Peace Directorate of the Secretariat, Rev. Fr Clement Kwesi Adjei, said over the years, community apathy in local governance participation had been worsening.

“This apathy affects the effectiveness of local governance with the attendant consequences, including low development, poverty, rancour and partisanship which retard national development,” he said.

Wake-up call

Rev. Fr. Adjei described President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s appeal to the public to become citizens rather than spectators as a wake-up call to religious organisations, traditional leaders NGOs, civil society organisations and other identifiable groups to take the necessary initiative to encourage members of the communities to actively participate in local governance.

He urged community leaders to play a leading role in addressing the apathy towards local governance.

In his welcome address, the National Secretary of the National Catholic Secretariat (NCS), Rev. Fr Anondee, said the project had become necessary because local governance was key to national development.

He said it was in that respect that the church decided to collaborate with the government to ensure that all stakeholders participated in local governance.

 

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