The 1992 Constitution of Ghana underscores varied forms of rights and freedoms for citizens including the freedom of movement and association, and the right to mobilise and partake in demonstrations and political activities.
The Constitution further provides for an elaborate system of local government and decentralized administration. The rationale behind the decentralisation efforts in Ghana is to bring governance to the doorstep of the people.
These civil liberties and decentralisation efforts are aimed at ensuring and promoting citizens’ involvement in the democratic process. However, the participation of citizens in the local governance processes has been observed to be very low, fraught with many challenges and barriers. Nonetheless, the media retains the capability and influence to resolve some of the challenges limiting popular participation in Ghana.
This policy brief explores the barriers, opportunities and limitations on citizens’ participation in Ghana and also assesses the role the media can play in resolving the challenges.