Parliament has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with STAR-Ghana, a Multi-Donor Funding Organization, for an amount of Twenty-Two Million Pounds to help deepen and consolidate democratic governance in the Country.
The MoU, which is the second phase of STAR-Ghana's program with the Legislature, is funded by UK- AID, DANIDA and the European Union and managed by Christian Aid, UK. It aims at enhancing the effectiveness of parliament in discharging its constitutional mandate.
The programme is expected to support the creation, utilisation and institutionalization of spaces for collective civil society engagement to ensure accountability and responsiveness of the executive and key state institutions at both local and national level to the citizenry.
The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, who signed the MoU on behalf of legislature, Monday, thanked STAR-Ghana for its continued support to the House and asked for the extension of the assistance to cover other areas of the work of Parliament.
He announced that Parliament would soon set up legal and assurance committees. He explained that the new legal department was to help Members of Parliament (MP) work on private member's bill which Parliament intended to introduce while the committee on parliamentary assurance is to do a follow-up on statements made by members on the floor of the House.
The Chairman of the Steering Committee of STAR-Ghana, Prof. Prof. Akilakpa Sawyerr, reminded parliament of the need to be accountable in the utilization of the support.
"We demand and insist on the accounting of every dollar we spend without respect for the grantee. That is our strength because those who give us the funding are able to trust us fully because of the transparency of our process," he said.
The Programs Manager of STAR-Ghana, Ibrahim Tanko-Amidu, said the phase II of the programme was informed by developments in the external context and by the urgent need to deepen and consolidate Ghana's democratic governance after 25 years of the Fourth republic.
He said the four areas of work identified include the continuation of work with the leadership of parliament as well as other initiatives to enhance the effectiveness of parliament, support to four committees--health education, gender, local government, and parliamentary Service-- to improve on their work.
He announced that Star Ghana would also organise an orientation programme for representatives from the targeted units while technical support would be provided for the development of a two year action plan for implementation.
"It is our expectation that together we can contribute to deepening and consolidating democratic governance in Ghana to achieve a sustainable national development
Source: ISD (Gilbert Ankrah)