iWatch Africa meets the Minister of Information towards deepening transparency in governance

iWatch Africa meets Minister of Information

iWatch Africa, a nonpartisan organization focused on promoting transparency and accountability in Africa held a stakeholder meeting with the Minister of Information, Mustapha Hamid and the Deputy Minister of Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah on how the government can take certain decisive actions on key findings of our watchdog role.

Below is a summary of the findings discussed with the Minister of Information on Monday, 11th September, 2017. The minister assured the iWatch Africa team that the government will put in place the necessary measures to address the concerns raised.

Tracking Government Commitments in the 2017 Budget Statement;

Planting for Food and Jobs Program in Ho Municipality:

As part of our assessment of the Planting for Food and Jobs Program, iWatch Africa has uncovered the following challenges we believe will help the government improve on the program in the Ho Municipality and also across the country;

  1. Inadequate logistics for the effective monitoring of the program
  2. Inadequate extension officers
  3. Youth in the community have shown disinterest in the program as a result of the stigma that comes with farming

Salaga: 60-bed hospital project abandoned as residents cry out to government

Residents of Salaga in the East Gonga District at the Northern Region of Ghana are calling on government to complete a 60-bed district hospital that has been abandoned for some months now. Roads leading to alternative health centers are also in very deplorable conditions.
Sekondi district hospital project in limbo after groundbreaking ceremony four years ago
Four years after a sod-cutting ceremony to commence construction of the Sekondi hospital project, iWatch Africa can confirm that nothing has been done. We call on the government to look into possible causes of this situation and address the concerns.

Over GH¢600 million in off-shore accounts at risk of abuse & recovery

As part of our review of the Auditor’s report for the Consolidated Fund 2016, we discovered that;

The Consolidated Fund report for 2016 indicates that no accounting records with enabling terms and agreement were maintained by Controller and Accountant General Department (CAGD) on these accounts.

Banko Du Brazil- Hanger project – 69,486,464
Banko Du Brazil- Eastern corridor – 24,049,241
CDB owner contribution – 206,380,064
CDB Debt Service Reserve 366,604,322
CDB Collection Account 9,576,037

Free SHS Policy

Free SHS Policy: Our review and interview with several stakeholders for the free SHS policy has revealed concerns for the release of funds promptly to support the government’s mandate. We are happy that the government has released GHc240m for the program, but we call on the government to also put all the necessary measures in place to make sure schools administrators receive these funds in a timely manner to be able to operate the schools.

Right to Information Bill

Finally, iWatch Africa re-echoes the need for the government to swiftly pass the Right to Information Bill as promised. Good governance without the Right to Information is not sustainable.

iWatch Watch Africa is committed to deepening the democratic process in Ghana by leveraging on the power of data journalism and new media to promote transparency and accountability in Ghana.

Find pictures below:

iWatch Africa meets Ghana Minister of Information, Mustapha Hamid and Deputy Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrunah

Gideon Sarpong | Policy and Content Analyst.

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Gideon Sarpong

Gideon Sarpong is a media practitioner with over six years experience in data, investigative and policy journalism. Gideon is currently the Policy and News Director at iWatch Africa. His major role includes developing news strategy for correspondents across Ghana, as well as designing project and policy focus for the organisation. He is an author with over eight publications; a fellow of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), Thomson Reuters Foundation (Wealth of Nations Program), Commonwealth Youth Program (DYLP) and Bloomberg Data for Health Program. Gideon holds a degree in economics from the University of Cape Coast and PgD in Policy Journalism and Media Studies from the University of Zambia. He is a firm believer in the use of data journalism and technology for development and is committed to promoting transparency and accountability in Africa.

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