- On April 18, 2016
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SEND GHANA, an anti-corruption Civil Society Organisation that seeks to promote good governance and transparency in Ghana, has urged citizens to apply their skills and knowledge acquired in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Social Media to fight corruption in Ghana.
Making a presentation at an anti-corruption workshop in Tamale on the use Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Social Media to monitor and report acts of corruption and other forms of impropriety in the society, Mr. Pascal Kelvin Kudiabor, the Communication Officer at SEND GHANA said, corruption has become a national security threat and has eaten deep into the fabric of society making it difficult for government to raise enough revenue to develop the country.
According to him, mobile phone technology reaches citizens directly through interactive channels of communication and allows for rapid data collection and access to information which can be used for social mobilisation and participation in the fight against corruption.
Taking her turn to address participants, Madam Clara Osei-Boateng, the Director of Policy Advocacy Programmes at SEND GHANA acknowledged that, corruption has persisted and impacts negatively on the socio-economic development of the country in spite of efforts to fight the canker.
The multi-faceted nature of the problem of corruption requires innovative efforts to effectively fight the canker. In this regard, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and social media have been perceived as important channels to adopt in demanding greater transparency and accountability from duty bearers.
Madam Osei-Boateng said that, ICT and social media can support good governance efforts by enabling and expanding citizens’ social mobilization efforts. “A better informed and active citizenry could employ ICT and social media and put pressure on national institutions to be accountable and responsive to citizens’ needs.”
The training workshop forms part of activities aimed at strengthening the capacity of civil society to fight corruption at local level under the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Accountable Democratic Institutions and Systems Strengthening (ADISS) Project.
The four-year project which was initiated in 2014 is being implemented by a consortium comprising SEND GHANA, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) and Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) in 70 districts nationwide, including Tolon, Savelugu in the Northern Region.
The project is expected to, among others, lead to an increased civil society engagement in effective direct lobbying, law reform advocacy and the use of anti-corruption reporting mechanisms by citizens.
Making a presentation on Legislative/Parliamentary Advocacy and Lobby, Mr. George Osei-Bimpeh, the Country Director of SEND GHANA noted that most anti-corruption agencies in the country are under-funded, and stressed the need for government to adequately resource them to play their roles effectively in order that the incidence of corruption will be reduced.
Mr. Osei-Bimpeh, who took participants through the lesson of how to write letters to Parliament to report corrupt practices, revealed that, the practice has not been explored to the fullest in Ghana and urged participants to make full use of it.
Speaking on the sidelines of the training, a participant and a trained anti-corruption Champion, Mr. Abdul Basit A-Rahaman expressed optimism in fighting corruption and believed that corruption can be reduced if all Ghanaians adopted the attitude of reporting every little act of corruption to the appropriate agency. “We will do our work without fear or favor,” he assured.