Messenger National governments remain the single largest source of revenue for news organisations in Africa.
Recently, following the attack on a woman in a Midland Bank premises in Accra, Ghana Augustthe journalist, Linus Atarah posed the question, "Where are the women's organisations in Ghana? My mind went back to the s when the civil society, not for profit and non-governmental organisations NGOswere active in national life and led advocacy on various issues.
These organisations were active in promoting rural development, advocacy on behalf of poor people, and were real voices for change.
These included youth groups, women's organisations, rural community-based organisations and citizens advocacy groups. Some of these were undoubtedly, fronts for international non-governmental organisations like Oxfam, Action Aid, World Vision, Christian Aid and the like.
However, in recent years, the influence and activities of these groups have waned. They seem to be absent from national life, particularly, in the areas where they are needed the most. They are noticeable by their silence. To put it mildly, the civil society in Ghana today is a pale shadow of its former self; failing to engage the powers that be to help shape the national agenda, and to speak truth to power.
In other African countries such as Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Ethiopia, citizens groups react to abuse and maltreatment of women, children and vulnerable people with concerted action. Their anger is not limited to posts on Facebook. In Kenya, when some irresponsible youth stripped a woman naked in public ostensibly because she was wearing a short skirt, women's groups reacted with fury on the streets of Nairobi and other cities.
The same happened when a woman was not allowed to feed her child in the public area of a city hotel. Organisations like the Federation of Women Lawyers are proactive and defend women's rights as they were set up to do.
In Uganda, similar reactions from women's organisations and their sympathisers can be expected. In Ghana today, these organisations are noticeably silent on issues affecting women. Research conducted by Star-Ghana inprovides a very revealing, but also disturbing analysis of civil society organisations in Ghana, how they are categorised and how donor funds are distributed to mostly Accra based civil society organisations CSOs led by the middle-class elite and big recognisable names "The Political Economy of Civil Society in Ghana", Star-Ghana, However, a review of this report is not a focus for this discussion.
My own investigations reveal that there are over CSOs, broadly defined to include NGOs, community-based organisations, rural development and faith groups. These cut across the country as a whole, but with the large advocacy groups located mainly in Accra. They exist but for an agenda which is neither national nor pro-poor.
Others are also caught up in self-promotion of their leaders. The National Union of Ghana Students has also lost its dynamism on the altar of personalised greed and aggrandisement; the Trade Union Congress hardly talks about workers' rights these days.
There is no left wing movement to champion the cause of the masses any longer, and any claim to the contrary is nothing but a ruse.
The s saw the adoption of multi-party politics in many African countries. This led to relatively liberal constitutions in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana among others. The decolonization of Africa took place in the mid-to-late s, very suddenly , with little preparation .There was widespread unrest and organised revolts in both Northern and sub-Saharan colonies, especially in French Algeria, Portuguese Angola, the . World Political Science Review Volume 3, Issue 3 Article 1 The modern analysis of politics in African countries began as part of the studies To further deepen the understanding of one-party polities, scholars such as Zolberg () decided to focus on specific sub-regions of the continent.
In the case of the recent incident involving a woman being beaten up in a Midland Bank by a policeman, many citizens expressed anger and angst. The usual Facebook commentaries took over and calls for action against the policeman for assaulting a customer at a Bank were many. As usual, "celebrities" took over the debate from the operational tactics of some members of Ghana's Police Service to monetary donations.
Have we not been there before? But also know that this will not last long. Prior to the Midland Bank incident, seven "Zongo" youth had been gunned down ostensibly for being "armed robbers".
Human rights organisations, if they exist in Ghana, were silent on this issue. As usual, the nation was fed the same state-sponsored narrative that they youths were "armed robbers" from the Zongo community in Kumasi.
Do we have a "shoot to kill" policy in Ghana? Can citizens be gunned down because they are from the "Zongo"? Where are the human and citizens' rights organisations to ask these basic questions and seek for answers from the state?
Early this year, a female child was subjected to horrendous rape by an adult. In our schools, boys and girls are raped and sodomised and often reported in the newspapers.
Yet there is no concerted action by the civil society, particularly, human rights and children's rights organisations. These organisations cannot claim that they have not read or heard about these incidents.
In fact, Pubic Agenda www. Civil society organisations and others like the United Nations Children's Fund are aware these disturbing incidents, yet, unlike other countries, there is complete silence from the civil society front. These apart, the increasing incidents of personal aggrandisement, institutional theft and corruption in state institutions should concern the civil society.Politics in Ghana.
Ghana has since the introduction of constitutional democracy in been a stable democracy.
National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) have generally been smooth. Among African countries Ghana was rated number 8.
Ghana was also ranked 7 out of 52 African countries on the Mo . party politics was lifted in May the same year in preparation for multi-party elections (Bureau of African Affairs ).
Between the lifting of the ban on party activity and the national. the nation in world politics, the necessity of explaining party policies in detail to the mass of the people is regarded as a waste of time by the party 6lite.
Political risks facing African democracies: Evidence from Afrobarometer survey data may be used to systematically track trends in mass political support – such as approval for incumbent governments, satisfaction with political regime performance, and the popular legitimacy of state public opinion in three African countries – Mali.
analysis By Jamie Hitchen. Youth - people between the ages of 15 and 35, according to the definition used by the African Union's Youth Charter - make up more than 35% of Africa's total population.
Political Parties in Africa Sebastian Elischer analyzes political parties in Ghana, Kenya, and Namibia in detail and provides a preliminary analysis of parties in seven other countries, including Tanzania, Botswana, Sene- 6 The Diversity of African Party Politics .