In a momentous move towards promoting parliamentary responsiveness and openness through information sharing, civic engagement and public accountability in Ghana, the Parliament of Ghana has officially inaugurated a Citizens Bureau on 31st July 2023. This historic development the first of its kind in Africa marks a new chapter in Ghana’s democratic journey.

The inauguration ceremony, held today 31st July 2023, saw prominent members of Parliament, civil society leaders, and citizens gathered to witness the landmark occasion. The event was presided over by the Speaker of Parliament, who emphasized the significance of this initiative in strengthening democratic governance and ensuring the voices of ordinary Ghanaians are heard at the highest level.

“As the world evolves, to do the beliefs, challenges, needs, hopes and aspirations of the people we represent.  We failed as a legislature if these do not find place in the laws and decisions we make. His excellency Nelson Madela once said and I quote “if we want any significant development, we must co-opt civil society”. I commissioned a survey in 2022 to better appreciate the experiences of civil society organizations in their interaction with parliament over the years. The intention was to use the recommendations as building blocks to strengthen parliament relationship with civil society organizations and by extension, the citizens we represent. The survey shows that 80.9% of respondents supported the creation of a unit to deepen citizens participation in parliament’s work giving the disconnect between the house and the people they serve enhance, the establishment of the Citizens Bureau” he said.

The Citizens Bureau aims to be a bridge between citizens and lawmakers, facilitating open dialogue and creating opportunities for active public participation in the legislative process. Its establishment comes as a response to growing demands for transparency, accountability, and inclusivity in Ghana’s governance, echoing the collective call for a more responsive and citizen-centered parliament.

Ghanaian civil society leaders have hailed this move as a remarkable step towards deepening democratic governance in the nation. “The presence of many heads of civic society organizations here this morning is a clear testimony that we stand ready to work with parliament and together, find a common platform to advance the course of oversize and accountability and make our democracy beneficial to our citizens” said Dr. Rasheed, a representative of Civic Society Organizations.

As the news of the bureau’s inauguration spreads across the country, citizens are eager to engage actively with this new avenue for civic participation. From urban centers to rural communities, Ghanaians are gearing up to make their voices heard, contributing to the decisions that will shape the future of their beloved nation.

With the inauguration of the Citizen’s Bureau, Ghana has laid the foundation for a more informed, engaged, and accountable democracy—one that prioritizes the power of its citizens and values their active participation in shaping the nation’s future. As the sun sets on this momentous day, a new chapter begins in Ghana’s parliamentary history—one driven by openness, dialogue, and the shared vision of a thriving democratic nation.


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