Ghana has come a long way since independence in 1957.
Its reputation as a stable African democracy is well-known worldwide. But the country faces tough challenges, including rising unemployment, and its Parliament understands it must continue to live up to voters’ expectations. In the years to come, Ghanaians want their MPs to do more to scrutinise the executive’s policies. That means the Parliament’s tradition of mature discussion between the parties must evolve to incorporate more robust oversight of its work.
WFD understands the sensitivities of achieving these changes in a way which works for all those involved. We offer a demand-led, flexible approach which builds on our close relationships with the Parliament’s leadership. Britain’s political parties have longstanding links with Ghanaian politicians; the Conservatives have had formal links with the New Patriotic Party since 1995, while Labour has worked with the National Democratic Congress for many years. WFD’s previous parliamentary strengthening activities have helped strengthen committees’ capacity and post-legislative scrutiny. We can now unite these two strands in our new, integrated programming model: this aims to make political parties more effective at operating within the parliamentary context.
In the three years to 2018, WFD will apply this approach to a range of challenges faced by the Parliament. Our main focus will be on improving the quality of policy analysis MPs receive from parliamentary staff by providing training for both the Parliament’s dedicated research, library and ICT departments as well as for MPs’ assistants. We will also support parliamentarians as we seek small but significant changes to the way the institution’s systems operate. And we offer assistance to the Parliament’s communications, giving it the tools it needs to conduct effective outreach work and improve MPs’ standing in the eyes of Ghanaian society.
WFD has been invested in Ghana for many years. Our unique blend of access to British political and parliamentary expertise, understanding of Ghana’s democratic development and access to those shaping it today can be applied to the biggest governance challenges the country faces. Issues like anti-corruption, natural resource revenue-sharing and unemployment can’t be tackled without MPs. They must be connected with civil society and operate within a thriving multiparty dynamic – both essential next steps for Ghana as it continues its democratic journey. We want to find more ways to connect our work with that of others, and are open to considering co-funded opportunities as they arise.