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Why Citizens must Participate In Democratic Governance

40 participants from Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis and Shama receive training on advocacy

Advocacy training workshop for Civic Union representatives

Ghana is a signatory to various international and regional treaties that emphasizes political participation, democratic governance and the right to freedom of expression; examples, the African Charter on Human and people’s rights, the universal human rights declaration among some other charters and conventions.

The concept of participation is now depicted in the development circle as the right of people to become involved in decisions that affect their lives and democratic governance. Governance is interpreted as the relationship between those who govern and those who are governed.

Citizens are more likely to participate in governance and democratic processes at the local levels since it is directly related with them.

However, the challenge is to put in place appropriate mechanisms which can help community members participate effectively so they can channel their concerns.

Although one of the key principles of democracy is that citizens have the right to demand accountability from duty bearers who have been entrusted with public funds, some factors such as lack of civic education, ineffective communication, lack of motivation, lack of commitment from citizens etc. hinder the effective participation of citizens in local governance.

 Participants from various civic grouping receive training on advocacy

Advocacy training for Civic groups representatives

It is against this background that United Civil Society For Nzema East Development (UCSOND) as part of it democratic governance project with STAR-Ghana has organized a training workshop for representatives from various civic groups on advocacy.

The workshop which was held at GNAT Hall brought together 47 people from various groups including hair dresser groups, dressmakers, physically challenged persons, youth groups, faith based groups etc.

During the group work session, participants were able to come out with some identified issues in their communities and suggested possible solutions to them.

They commended STAR-Ghana and UCSOND for the good work they are doing, for the training they have organized for them and for serving as a mouth piece for the voiceless people in the society.

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