Transparency is key for development
… Says Prez Mahama at UN
President John Dramani Mahama has said transparency and open governance are critical in his administration to leverage socio-economic development.
He said it is on that account that Ghana had signed onto Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), which is awaiting parliamentary approval.
President Mahama stated this on, Wednesday, when he co-hosted a side event on: "Setting the Stage for the post-2015 era, Transparency, Good Governance and Effective Institutions as the basis for Success," at the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, debate in New York.
Other co-hosts of the programme were David Cameron, British Prime Minister and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who also addressed the topic.
The programme, which was hosted by the Ford Foundation, was to give the leaders the opportunities to make useful suggestions for the adherence to good governance and transparency and to find lasting solutions to corruption in most countries.
President Mahama said good governance and transparency were more relevant to developing countries since they needed every opportunity to improve both their infrastructure and economies.
He said apart from signing onto the EITI, Ghana had also signed both the United Nations and African Union conventions against corruption and other malfeasance and was on the verge of empowering more institutions to deliver on their mandate.
President Mahama mentioned the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ); and the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) as some of the institutions government was reforming to empower them to perform beyond their current state.
He said Parliament of Ghana were on the verge of amending the constitution to enable CHRAJ to call for and investigate any case it perceived to be associated with corruption as a departure from their current state, where they could only investigate cases brought to it table by complainants.
The President said Ghana's freedom of the media had contributed tremendously as the vibrant Ghanaian media were ready to take individuals and organisations to the cleaners anytime they went overboard.
"Ghana has also got a number of strong Civil Society Organisations that are from time to time putting government officials and other public figures and stakeholders on their toes to discourage corruption," he said.
President Mahama commended the governments of Norway and Trindad and Tobago for their positive contribution to Ghana since her oil and gas find, saying, 'Nigeria has also offered us advice on what we should not do to fall in any difficulty and that is helping us a lot.'
The President said the coming out with the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, which holds government accountable to the people was another measure to streamline issues and ensure transparency in that industry.
"Government is also reforming the public procurement system, where a lot of deals are identified to ensure that all the loopholes are blocked to step up transparency in the country," he said.
Prime Minister Cameron said the more corrupt a country was the poorer her people became and urged leaders to spend a chunk of their time and energy in fighting the canker, which he said had denied citizens their fundamental human rights and basic social amenities.
He said many countries in the world were not able to achieve their development targets annually due mainly to massive corruption and called for a crusade that would discourage the practice worldwide.
Prime Minister Cameron also called for the reduction of next Millennium Development Goals to a smaller number to enable member countries to concentrate on their targets in the coming years. – GNA