A Team from Stma Participated in The Open Government Partnership (Ogp) Meeting in Morocco

by STMA / November 4, 2022 /
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A four (4) member team from Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) were in Marrakech, Morocco from November 1 to 3, to participate in the Africa and the Middle East Regional Meeting on Open Government Partnership (OGP). The team was led by the Mayor of Sekondi-Takoradi, Hon Abdul-Mumin Issah. Other members of the team were Mr. Isaac Aidoo, the OGP contact person for STMA, Mr. Aziz Mahmoud of Sekondi-Takoradi CoST-the Infrastructure Transparency Initiative and Solomon Kusi Ampofo of Friends of the Nation. The National team was led by the OGP Steering Committee Chairman (Hon. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, the Senior Presidential Advisor) with the OGP National Coordinator (Mrs. Thelma Ohene-Asiamah) and other National CSOs joining to participate in the meeting.

The event was hosted by the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco led by the Ministry of Digital Transition and Reform of Administration of Morocco, and the OGP Secretariat. The programme focused on leveraging open government approaches to strengthen public service delivery in the region. Participants shared experiences, best practices and lessons on advancing critical public service policy areas including anti-corruption, digital innovation, access to justice and civic participation. The event was participated by all the 23 local and 15 national government members of the OGP in Africa and the Middle East. The programme was also used to launched the Network of Open Governments Local Leaders for Africa. The head of Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly, Hon. Abdul-Mumin Issah was nominated along the heads of the Region of Beni Mellal-Khenifra in Morocco, Kaduna State in Nigeria, Elgeyo-Marakwat in Kenya to co-chair the Network.

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The Network’s aim is to become a space for taking action and working collaboratively to adapt and develop inclusive and transparent strategies. Each local government and organisation have different characteristics and dynamics, but share the same challenges and desire to live in an open, inclusive society. The inception of this network has been considered to accelerate reforms on open government at the local level in the Africa and Mena region. The network will focus on citizen participation, open data and timely accessible public information. The network will address issues such as improving public services, public communication, budget and fiscal transparency, public accountability, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and promote inclusion.

Ghana has made significant strides since joining OGP, from one participating local government in 2016 to six (6) out of the 23 in 2022. This is the highest representation in Africa with Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly as the forerunner in Ghana. Other OGP local government members in Ghana are Shama District Assembly (joined in 2020), Tarkwa Nusem Municipal Assembly, Wassa East Municipal, Ketu South Municipal Assembly and Anloga District Assembly who all joined in 2022.

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Sekondi-Takoradi is among the 15 pioneer cities competitively selected across the globe in 2016 for the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Subnational pilot program now OGP Local Program. OGP hinges on the principle of central and local governments being more open, accessible, responsive and accountable to their citizens. This is aimed at building confidence among duty bearers and the governed, engender broader participation in decision making at all levels and ensure transparency government dealings.
STMA recognizes the OGP guiding principles to ensure efficient use of public resources, local public policies are designed in the best interest of citizens and government officials act with integrity. Since joining OGP, the Assembly has co-created and implemented two OGP Local Action Plans (LAPs) with commitments in the areas of infrastructure transparency, access to information, inclusive participation, and citizen-centric municipal service delivery.

The third OGP LAP https://www.opengovpartnership.org/members/sekondi-takoradi-ghana/#commitments (2022-2024) has been developed and focuses on enhancing effectiveness in municipal service delivery, strengthening government accountability, broadening the civic space for ordinary citizens and civil society to actively participate in local governance. The Assembly envisioned that this would put the metropolis on a path that places citizens at the center of development by prioritizing transparency that guarantees accountability, and inclusive development towards a sustainable urban future.
Currently, seventy-eight (78) countries and one hundred and Six (106) local governments-representing more than two billion people-along with thousands of civil society organizations are members of the Open Government Partnership.