The National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the House Democracy Partnership (HDP) delegation recently visited the Parliament of Ghana on a working visit, exploring possibilities for future collaboration. Facilitated by Sammy Obeng, the Executive Director of the Parliamentary Network Africa (PNAfrica) and local representative of NDI in Ghana, the delegation engaged with key stakeholders, including the Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Bagbin, Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, parliamentary leadership, key staff, and Civil Society Organizations.

The visit was part of a fact-finding mission to gain insights into the internal operations of the Parliament of Ghana and its relationships with external organizations. The delegation, comprising representatives from NDI, HDP, International Republican Institute (IRI), and U.S. Congressional staff, aimed to learn more about Ghanaian parliamentary operations to inform future engagements between the Parliament and HDP.

During their visit from February 19 to 23, 2024, the bipartisan delegation conducted a series of meetings with various parliamentary stakeholders. These included parliamentary leadership, committee chairs, women’s caucuses, parliamentary staff, executive and judiciary officials, civil society organizations, journalists, international organizations, and academics. The goal was to collect information for a report identifying potential areas of technical assistance and cooperation, as well as recommending future actions for the House Democracy Partnership.

The delegation also met with the Majority and Minority Caucus leadership to discuss legislative work, member operations, and party organization within Parliament. They observed a sitting of Parliament to witness legislative operations firsthand and met with members of the Ghana Parliamentary Monitoring Organizations Network (GPMON) to understand how civil society monitors parliamentary work and engages with the Legislature to promote openness and transparency.

Additionally, the delegation engaged with the Women’s Caucus of the Ghanaian Parliament to discuss women’s representation and gender quotas for Members of Parliament. They however missed their engagement with the Parliamentary Press Corps to learn about the press’s relationship with Parliament and their practices for reporting on parliamentary proceedings to the public.

The visit was an important step towards strengthening collaboration between the Parliament of Ghana and international democratic institutions. It provided valuable insights into Ghanaian parliamentary operations and laid the groundwork for future partnerships to enhance democracy and transparency in the country.

Source: Clement Akoloh/ Comms Officer – PNAfrica

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