Ghana joins other countries at Open Government Partnership meeting in UK

OGPGhana has been invited by the UK to join eight other countries at the Open Government Partnership (OGP) meeting in London.

According to a press release issued by the British High Commission in Accra and copied to,  the inventor of the worldwide web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee will join UK Cabinet Office Minister, Francis Maude to welcome Ghana and eight other new countries to the OGP meeting in London today, April 25, 2013.

The new countries are Argentina, Costa Rica, Finland, Hungary, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, Liberia and Ghana.

The UK, which is the current lead co-chair of the OGP, and the organisation’s seven other founding countries, will listen to action plans from the nine new participants for increasing transparency to fight corruption and encourage growth, the release said.

“I am delighted that Ghana is entering the Open Government Partnership. This is an exciting opportunity to join a world-leading initiative, using transparency to improve standards of governance and to tackle potential problems such as corruption. Ghana already enjoys an enviable status as a beacon for democracy. Now it has an opportunity to help show the way on open and effective governance. I am very pleased that once again the UK and Ghana will be working shoulder to shoulder on such an important initiative, which seeks to deliver real benefits to our citizens,” Peter Jones, the British High Commissioner to Ghana said about the country’s participation.

The release indicated that at the OGP Ministerial Steering Committee meeting, government and civil society representatives will discuss a new strategy for delivering the commitments in national action plans.

“They will also look at progress on measures to sharpen accountability, including discussion of countries’ action plan commitments. Over the coming months, these will be scrutinised by a high-powered International Expert Panel on which former Irish President Mary Robinson, Sudanese-born British entrepreneur Mo Ibrahim, and Mozambican politician Graça Machel are senior advisers,” it said.

UK Cabinet Minister, Francis Maude, who will chair the meeting was cited in the release as saying, “In just 18 months, the OGP has grown into a global movement of 58 countries. Now we must cement the credibility of the OGP as an international force for change by deepening engagement with existing participants and turning promises into actions.

“Transparency is a tool for reformers all over the world. The best way to make the OGP transparency message stick and encourage more countries to join, is to show how openness empowers citizens and improves their lives; and to make ourselves accountable if we fail to live up to our promises. Once people see the advantages of transparency, the democratic impetus for open government will be irresistible, and there will be no turning back.”

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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