IDEA closes down Accra office due to financial constraints

The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), an intergovernmental organisation for established democracies, as part of the review of its programme in Africa, has closed down its West African office located in Accra due to financial constraints.

The review exercise also includes the relocation of the Africa regional Office from Pretoria, South Africa to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

This was disclosed by Mr Mustaq Moorad, Africa Regional Director for International IDEA on Friday in Accra, during the opening of a workshop on local government for some local government experts on boosting participatory democracy at the local level.

Mr Moorad expressed his gratitude to the Government of Ghana for the support given to International IDEA during its existence in Ghana, which included the country chairing the council of IDEA member states in 2010.

He said International IDEA was still committed to the continuation of its work in West Africa as it had concluded the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the ECOWAS Commission on being partners in boosting democracy in the sub region.

He noted that an assessment conducted by International IDEA under its State of Local Democracy (SOLD), indicated that the citizenry considered democracy, being mainly about improved life, especially in the provision of services to those who critically needed them.

Mrs Magdalene Kannae, Head, Gender and Social Development Centre, Institute of Local Government Studies, expressed dissatisfaction about the inability of some assemblies in the country to inform their citizenry about their activities.

This, she said, could sometimes cause distrust among the citizenry and the assembly, which would not augur well for transparency and the development of the assemblies concerned.

Some of the topics discussed at the two day workshop included “The Challenges of Democracy at Local Government Level in Selected Countries”, Theoretical Framework of the Citizen-led Democracy Assessment Tool” and “Ghana’s State of Local Democracy Assessment Experience”.

Source: GNA

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