Alhaji Amidu Ibrahim-Tanko, Executive Director of STAR-Ghana Foundation
Alhaji Amidu Ibrahim-Tanko, Executive Director of STAR-Ghana Foundation

Recommit to legitimacy of December 7 polls - Economist urges CSOs, media

A development Economist, Charles Abugre, has called on Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the media to recommit themselves to supporting the country to secure the legitimacy of the December 7 elections at the polling station level to reflect the will of the people.


Equally important he said, was the need for CSOs to offer better economic policies that would take the country out of its economic challenges and truncate the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cycle.

“When we see to the legitimacy of the elections we would have seen to the legitimacy of our organisations and built civil society.”  “We are in a serious economic crisis and bankruptcy in which the two major political parties - the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) - have the same situation when it comes to restructuring our debt situation and providing alternative economic models,” Mr Abugre stated.

He said this via Zoom at the second Ghana Civil Society Forum in Accra last Tuesday. Organised by STAR-Ghana Foundation, in collaboration with the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) and other partners, the forum was on the theme: “Civil Society at an inflection point: Strategising for increased legitimacy, effectiveness and sustainability".

The forum, which attracted about 400 participants in the civil society space, deliberated on three sub-themes - ensuring legitimacy with constituents and stakeholders, achieving effectiveness as organisations, and ensuring sustainable operations, revenues and impacts.

It provided a platform to facilitate collective and inclusive actions towards the effectiveness, legitimacy and sustainability of the civic sector and its organisations.

Mr Abugre, who is also the Executive Director of the International Development Economics Associates (IDEAs), explained that offering what he described as “civil economic agenda and restructuring policies” would ultimately help break that cycle of the two major political parties floating essentially almost the same policies which have been ineffective in addressing the challenges facing the ordinary Ghanaian.

He said although such policies looked good in the books, they did not usually transform the lives of the people. “These policies have led to increasing inequalities fuelled by excessive taxation and the capture of those taxation by the small aristocratic and political elites.”

“The same policies have divided our country and people massively that we no longer see each other as Ghanaians but see each other as which of the two major political parties we belong to.”

Agents of change

The United Nations Resident Coordinator, Charles Abani, said CSOs must help to proffer pragmatic solutions to the nation's challenges in all areas, including its democratic credentials.

He stated that representatives of CSOs must help to change the country's narrative as agents of change, who are not only interested in drawing salaries to make a living.


The Executive Director of STAR-Ghana Foundation, Alhaji Amidu Ibrahim-Tanko, told the participants that the forum was a call to action that, “we have a role to play in the development of the nation and ensuring a just society; we have to nurture, support and criticise each other, peer review each other and collectively help to make civil society activities in Ghana more effective.”

The Executive Secretary of GACC, Beauty Emefa Narteh, called on the participants to ensure that the recommendations at the forum were implemented, including those made during the maiden forum held in March 2022.

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