The Parliament of Ghana in partnership with STAR-Ghana Foundation will on Monday, November 20, 2023, organise a Speaker’s Breakfast Forum on the theme: ‘Thirty Years of Parliamentary Democracy under the Fourth Republic: Reflection on Citizens Engagement and the Way Forward.’
A statement issued by David Sebastian Damoah Esq, the Director of Media Relations, Parliament House and copied to the Ghana News Agency, Accra, said the purpose of the Speaker’s Breakfast Forum was to consolidate the relationship between Parliament and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), and explore new ways of working together for accountable governance.
It said: ‘In addition, the objectives of the forum are to explore new concepts for further engagements and collaborations, to strengthen the relationship between STAR- Ghana Foundation and Parliament, and lastly leverage the partnership to enhance citizens’ engagement in the work of Parliament.’
The statement said Central to the theme was Parliament, the symbol and institution of dem
ocracy. ‘…Indeed, the celebration was informed by the need to safeguard our democracy, to ensure that as many Ghanaians as possible appreciate the current political dispensation, the workings of parliament, and how crucial Parliament is to the sustenance of democracy,’ it said.
It noted that the survival of Parliamentary democracy in Ghana since independence for three decades was unprecedented which commemorated the 30 years of uninterrupted Parliamentary democracy in the Fourth Republic and the 5th Anniversary of STAR-Ghana.
The Statement said Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament, would deliver the keynote address with Professor Akosua Darkwah from the University of Ghana and Dr Rasheed Draman from the Africa Centre for Parliamentary Studies being the Guest Speakers.
It said in all, 150 participants drawn from Parliament, CSOs, Think Tanks, Trade Unions, and the Media among others would be expected to attend the forum.
According to the statement, in recognition of the need for a mo
re effective engagement with the public and a wider participation in the work of parliament, having ranked first in Africa, in the open Parliament initiative, Parliament had decided to set up a Citizens Bureau within the Parliamentary Service.
‘The Bureau will work to institutionalise Parliament-citizens’ engagement through partnerships with the media, CSOs and think tanks.
‘The Bureau will develop and maintain a database of CSOs and think tanks operating in Ghana and provide the media and CSOs with the opportunity to easily share information and research findings with Parliament, whilst accessing relevant information from Parliament to support their work,’ it said.
The statement added that the Bureau would also facilitate capacity-building for the CSOs on how Parliament works and channels for collaborations with Parliament.
It, therefore, explained that this arrangement would help bring the hopes and aspirations, concerns and anxieties of the public to the fore and enable Parliament to respond timeously
to them, adding ‘it will reduce the misunderstanding between parliament and the public and serve as an early warning signal to alert the elected representatives of the people on vexed issues before they degenerate beyond resolution.’
STAR-Ghana was founded at a period when the conditions globally were not favourable and the Parliament of Ghana had been a strategic partner of STAR-Ghana from its inception as a Programme to its status as a Foundation this partnership has led to several successful collaborations on several issues.
Source: Ghana News Agency