The 2017 to 2020 Citizen’s Manifesto powered by Oxfam, a Non-Governmental Organization and compiled by the Financial Accountability and Transparency-Africa (FAT-Africa),a policy think tank has rolled out guidelines to seek citizen’s view to enable them demand accountability from politicians during and after the elections.
Reviewing the contents of the manifesto attended by Albert Kan-Dapaah; former Member of Parliament for Affigya –Sekyere in the Ashanti Region and Vitus Aziem, Executive Director of Ghana Integrity Initiative, the local chapter of Transparency International in Accra, the Project Manager of FAT-Africa; Francis Darko Asare, said the manifesto was based on inputs and recommendations made at the validation events by citizens across the country.
He added that, his organization did the exercise with the hope that the elected governments upon assuming power in 2017 will take the inputs seriously and addressed them.
‘’We believe political parties assuming power would have already considered these issues and be better placed to address them for the betterment of Ghanaians,’’ he stressed.
He explained that one of the major issues that cut across during their interaction with respondents was youth unemployment.
According to him, the latest round of the Ghana Living standards survey, 2014 indicates that about 56 percent of the population is made up of young
people between ages 15 to 24.
About 6.4 percent of these group of peoples were found to be unemployed and this confirms a joint in-depth study by the International Labour Organization and the World Bank reports that suggest that 71 percent of Ghanaian youth are in the labour force with 6 percent designated as unemployed.
He said unemployment has assumed an urban phenomenon, where a proportion of the youth who are active and out of education are more than one-third of those in the rural areas.
In all female youth are more likely to be unemployed than their male counterparts, irrespective of their residence.
He added that the study revealed that 14 percent of Ghanaian youth fall into the Not into Employment, Education or Training (NEET) and thus
vulnerable to violent behaviours.
On corruption, hesaid the organization want the elected governments to denounce poor financial accountability and corruption as the greatest governance challenges in the country and commit the government to fighting these twin problems relentlessly.
He urged the assuming governments to commit to protect the public purse from frivolous charges on it to allow room for fruitful expenditures on social amenities and maximize the welfare services of the state.
He called the government to separate the office of the Attorney-General from the Ministry of Justice and pursue those who have defrauded the state as well as government officials who are found culpable.
He appealed to the governments to review the existing mechanisms to implement audit findings and sanctions through the Audit Report Implementation Committee.
He added that this will ensure that the financial reports of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MMDAs) are readily available at all times and presented on regular basis for citizens to assess the use of public resources.
‘We consider this as very important contribution towards improving governance, service delivery, poverty reduction and an achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the country.
We therefore expect the elected governments to adopt our demands as part of its programme of governance in the next four years’.
The Executive Chairman of FAT-Africa, Joe Winful, on his part said the Citizen’s Manifesto would ensure that a group of Ghanaians, do not sit in the comfort of their rooms and claims to be espousing the thoughts of the average Ghanaian.
According to him, this is the true voices of the average Ghanaians on their needs and expectations from governments.