Mr Alban S.K Bagbin, Speaker has underscored the need for more inclusivity and participation of both sides of the political divide in the development process of the country.

He said: “Basic important national policies must get the buy-in of the representatives of the people, and that buy-in will in effect enrich our policies.”

Mr Bagbin said when a delegation made up of the leadership of the Africa Parliamentary Monitoring Organisations Network (APMON) called on him in parliament on Friday.

The group called on the Speaker to introduce the Network and its initiatives as well as discuss ways to foster engagements with Ghana’s Parliament on parliamentary openness.

“Humanity finally is settling in on the conviction that when there is true democracy the society thrives healthily, and in the absence of democracy the opposite pertains,” he said.

According to Mr Bagbin, Ghana had signed on to the Open Governance Initiatives and could not go against what it had committed itself.

He added that it would build more transparent, accountable and participatory governments that could restore citizens’ trust and promote inclusive growth.

Mr Bagbin, therefore, called for a closer partnership and regular dialogue between parliament and Civils Society Organisations (CSOs) to be able to achieve the needed growth.

The parliament of Ghana he said would soon outdoor a revised Standing Orders which he said would ensure greater access and openness in the business of parliament.

“When approved, the new Standing Orders will open up Committee Sittings to the media to allow for more transparency and accountability,” the Speaker said.

For his part, Mr Samuel Nana Kwame Obeng, Executive Director, PN Africa commended the Speaker for his vision to make Ghana’s Parliament more responsive to the needs of the citizenry.

He said major reforms needed to be introduced in the various parliaments across Africa to address the challenge of access to parliamentary information to aid CSOs in the work.

Mr Obeng announced the piloting of an index to rank parliaments on openness within the subregion.

He said: “The pilot phase will rank 10 parliaments and national assemblies in West Africa and will involve deeper engagements with key CSOs.”

Source: GNA



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