EU-Ghana Anti-Corruption, Rule of Law and Accountability Programme (ARAP) launched in Accra
Also present for the launch were representatives of EU Member States in Ghana, some development partners, government officials, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and beneficiary institutions working to curb corruption in the country.
The EU Ghana Anti-Corruption, Rule of Law and Accountability programme (ARAP) is a five year programme of EUR 20 million aimed at supporting the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP) of Ghana. The programme of the EU is aligned with NACAP objectives.
The objective is to build the capacity of civic education providers such as the –National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), CHRAJ, CSOs and the media– to conduct campaigns, advocate and lobby for increased accountability and a reduction in corruption.
Secondly, it is aimed at strengthening law enforcement agencies. This includes building the capacity of prosecutors to prosecute corruption and related offences. It also means building the capacity of the Judiciary to hear and decide corruption cases and related offences, as the best means of enhancing accountability standards in country. And it also means supporting the police and Judiciary to combat corruption amongst their ranks.
In an open statement, Ambassador Hanna said being an ambitious programme, it can only succeed if there is full ownership and commitment from the government and citizens. He went on to mention that last week when holding the annual Political Dialogue with the Government, he pointed out that when we talk to leaders from civil society, many of them – in particular young leaders - tell us they lack confidence in the institutions to effectively fight corruption.
"But we know that some of these agencies lack resources to deliver. Thus, we make an appeal here to the government to reaffirm its commitment by providing the needed resources and leadership to help these agencies deliver!" he stated.
Commenting on the question why development partners such as the EU invest in fighting corruption in Ghana, Ambassador Hanna said "because we believe that the impunity achieved by the perpetrators of corruption, including through money laundering, is a major contributor to poverty".
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In a speech read for Him, Minister of Finance, Mr. Terkper, commended the EU and Member States and development partners for their significant contribution to government's governance process. He said even though Ghana continues to make significant strides in the fight against corruption, but there still remain challenges to this fight.
Government he stated is therefore committed to continue the battle against corruption by putting in place numerous anti-corruption measures. These include the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663), the new Public Financial Management (PFM) bill and the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS). These measures he stressed require collective efforts to ensure that challenges of corruption are addressed in a comprehensive manner for the good of the country.
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Mr. Richardson, the Acting Head of CHRAJ, in a welcome address said the EU support is to assist the implementation of NACAP and to promote good governance and compliance with the rule of law and improve accountability in the country.
He observed that under-resourcing and weakening of capacity of governance and accountability institutions that play key roles in the fight against corruption can be threaten.
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