Representatives from the European Union and the ARAP Coordinating Team completed a field trip to the Ashanti and Central Regions, over 15-16 April. Led by the Ambassador of the EU Delegation to Ghana, H.E. Diana Acconcia, the group visited several national stakeholders including members of the Attorney General’s Office, the EPA and the NCCE.
ARAP has been providing technical support to national stakeholders over the past three years, leading to significant movements to strengthen anti-corruption efforts and the rule of law across Ghana. With the appointment of the new ARAP team leader, Ana Esther Sanchez, this was therefore an opportunity to see the progress of such EU-supported programmes.
Visits to ARAP Stakeholders
Meeting with the Attorney General’s Office in the Chief State Attorney’s Office of Kumasi, the group was given a presentation of the ARAP-supported E-Case Register (a docket management platform). The OAG staff gave a practical demonstration of this new information managment system, showing how their department is now able to filter and generate relevant statistics to enhance their work. Discussions with the State Attorneys also included ARAP’s ongoing support concerning pre-trial evidence disclosures in criminal trials (including the Disclosure Guidelines training in May).
The group’s visit to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Dunkwa On Offin Office consisted of meeting with the EPA’s top leadership, and a presentation of the ARAP-supported compliance monitoring project. The new tools and technology are being used for monitoring small-scale mining sites, and intend to move the EPA from a predominantly paper-based to IT-based system.
With the provision of drones, computers, tablets and other gadgets, ARAP is able to support a more effective approach to monitoring the mining sites. The EPA’s presentation showed how drones are making it easier to monitor activity in otherwise inaccessible areas. A field demonstration in the district subsequently showed how the drones and tablets are being used to gather data, map out territories and verify whether miners are violating their permit conditions. Participants of the visit were able to see how ARAP’s support is enhancing environmental governance within Ghana.
The field trip then joined a durbar on social auditing organised by the National Commission for Civic Education, in Kwame Preprakrom within the Upper Denkyira West Municipality. District Assembly Officials, local Chiefs and members of the community were introduced to ARAP, and the importance of citizen participation in Ghana’s accountability and anti-corruption efforts. The recent series of such durbar events is an opportunity for citizens to engage with district officials regarding social amenities needed in their communities.
The EU’s Cooperation with Ghana focus was at the heart of the trip, reflected during the initial discussions between the Ambassador and the Mayor of Kumasi, alongside Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly Officials. They explored further areas of support for the city, and discussed the opportunities in the Ashanti Region including tourism, environmental protection and economic development.
The trip was also an opportunity to meet with other beneficiaries of EU-funded programmes in the regions, including the reintegration of an IOM-supported returnee migrant, and the No Business as Usual (NBU) Project, an initative that supports unemployed citizens to become entrepreneurs.
You can access our album of photos from the EU-ARAP field trip through our Flickr page.