Ghana: Aspirations of Ghanaians' 'Review Constitution to Meet

12 October 2019

Discussants at a forum in Accra on Ghana's democracy have called for a review of the 1992 Constitution to meet the current aspirations of Ghanaians and propel economic development.

They argued that, the constitution, as it is presently, has already achieved its main objectives of ensuring political stability and respect for human rights and freedoms.

The discussants include Bernard Mornah, National Chairman of the People's National Convention (PNC), Regina Amegah, Convener, National Association of Law Students and Citizen Francis Tetteh, Eastern Regional Youth Chairman, Trade Union Congress (TUC).

They were assessing Ghana's Democratic journey since the First Republic and the way forward as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung-Ghana (FES Ghana) on Thursday.

The event was also to mark the 17th year of the Young Leaders Programme, an initiative of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung-Ghana to train political leaders.

On his part, Mr Mornah explained that, although the 1992 Constitution has ensured political stability, it had failed to address economic and social challenges.

"Today, young people are as hindered as women in the political space. Our economy has been hijacked and controlled by people I describe as rent-seekers.

"Yes, we have political stability, but if that stability does not lead to economic growth and empowerment, then there must be a change in approach. This change must begin with the constitution," he added.

Mr Mornah attributed low women and youths participation in politics to economic hardships, and called on political actors to work to expand the political space for young people and women.

As a democratic country, he reiterated the need for political actors to focus on improving the socio-economic wellbeing of citizens rather than prioritising elections, which he said, "has become Ghana's canker."

Mr Mornah said intensive civic education was necessary to inform Ghanaians of their responsibilities in the quest for economic and social development and called on young people to shun extreme partisanship to be able to contribute meaningfully in this regard.

Ms Amegah noted that the 1992 constitution has stifled economic and political rights, which were necessary to engender growth and development.

She said a new constitution was required to promote economic freedom, effective justice delivery and independent police capable of ensuring peace and security.

As a developing nation, Mr Tetteh said the 1992 Constitution contained some flaws, which were impediments to good governance and limit the participation of some citizens in the decision-making process.

He said it was time to "re-engineer" the constitution to make it meet the current needs of Ghanaians.

The event was also to honour some alumni of the YLP, including George Sarpong, Executive Secretary of the National Media Commission (NMC), who were key in the institution of the programme and currently working in the interest of the country.

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