The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) will from October 2020 commence a series of trainings for Information Officers, Public Relation Officers and District Coordinating Directors on Ghana’s Right to Information (RTI) Law (989).
About 122 persons across 56 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the Greater Accra, Ashanti, and Northern regions of the country will participate in the trainings.
Participants will be taken through the different sections of the RTI Law (989), specifically, sections relating to the role of information officers, exemptions, request for information process, appeal process, fees and charges of public institution etc. The trainings will also serve as a platform for knowledge sharing on what is expected of public officials under the law.
To further improve their communication and engagements with their constituents, the Information Officers, Public Relations Officers and District Coordinating Directors will also receive practical skills training on new ways of communication. This include new and traditional media platforms, communication strategies and crafting tailor made messages for the different audience.
Citizens’ access to information, participation in governance, and demand for accountability from duty bearers are guaranteed in the Constitution of Ghana. The RTI Law (989) passed in 2019 is a further enabler of the enjoyment of this right. The law among other things grant citizens the right to request and access information, and also charges public institutions to proactively publish details about their activities. Overall, it is expected to contribute to inclusive governance, transparency and accountability at the local level.
“Information Officers, Public Relation Officers and Coordinating Directors are key functionaries within the local assemblies; We believe that these trainings will equip them to better appreciate the the responsibilities placed on them as public officials under the RTI law and ultimately engender citizens’ access to information on local development issues in the districts” said Ms. Fouzia Tua Alhassan, a Programme Associate at the MFWA.
In 2019, more than 60 District Chief Executives across the Northern, Ashanti and Greater Accra regions were also schooled on the RTI Law. The series of trainings on the RTI Law forms part of activities under the MFWA’s project “Increasing Citizens’ Access to Information and Participation in Local Governance” being implemented in three (3) regions of Ghana with funding support from the German-based organisation, Deutsche Welle Akademie.