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Work to improve image of politicians – Speaker to MPs

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has charged Members of Parliament (MPs) to work to erase the negative labels that have come to be associated with politicians.

He said he was aware of the extreme dissatisfaction of the youth with how the country had been governed but added that the frustration was not limited to the youth alone but MPs as well.

He said it was for this reason that some MPs had decided not to contest again.

“But for this, some of these experienced MPs would have put their vast experiences at the doorstep of Parliament,” the Speaker said at the inauguration of the “Open Government Partnership (OGP) Caucus in Parliament” at Parliament House in Accra yesterday.

OGP

The 10-member OGP caucus, chaired by the MP for Ho West, Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzrah, had MP for South Dayi, Rockson-Nelson Etse Kwame Dafeamekpor; MP for La Dade Kotopon, Rita Naa Odoley Sowah; MP for Juaben Ama Pomaa Boateng; MP for Okaikwei South, Dakoa Newman; MP for Kwadaso, Dr Kingsley Nyarko, and MP for Kumbungu, Hamza Adam as members.

Others are, MP for Krowor, Agnes Naa Momo Lartey; MP for Ahafo North, Suleman Adamu Sanid and MP for Akim Oda, Alex Akwasi Acquah.

The OGP is to promote transparency and open governance in association with civil society organisations (CSOs) and other stakeholders.

Ghana joined the OGP in September 2011 and has developed and implemented four Action Plans and is in the process of developing a fifth one to be outdoored by the middle of December.

The OGP has a membership of 77 countries, 10 of them from Africa, including Ghana.

The Ghana OGP is governed by a 20-member National Steering Committee co-chaired by the Senior Presidential Advisor, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, and a member from the Ghana Integrity Initiative.

Membership is drawn from ministries, departments and agencies, CSOs as well as Parliament.

The multi-stakeholders steering committee has the responsibility for the development of the national action plan which captures the country’s OGP commitment.

The action plan is required to be co-created with the shared responsibility for its implementation.

The Speaker insisted that it was not only the people who were dissatisfied that were losing hope but even MPs themselves were frustrated with how things were going.

“Given the recent global threat to democracy and attacks on democratic rulings, it is imperative to have a strong alliance with CSOs to ensure the strengthening, protection and preservation of the rule of law.

Support

The Chairman of the national OGP steering Committee, Mr Osafo-Maafo, said the inauguration was an accomplishment that must be applauded by all for it would strengthen the OGP concerns in Parliament.

He announced that Ghana had been selected as one of seven African countries to benefit from a global financial support to promote OGP in the country.

He expressed the hope that the inflows would support “our own activity which we need badly.”

The former senior minister said the oversight responsibility of Parliament was crucial to keep government on its toes and protect the public purse.

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