March 17, 2015

Parliament, through the Committee on Government Assuarance, on Monday 16th March launched the “Connecting Citizens to Parliament” digital platform in Accra.

The project is to help Parliament’s Committee on Government Assurances (CGA) to undertake its mandate of monitoring all assurances and promises made by the executive arm of government. The project is a collaboration with Penplusbytes with support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).

“Connecting Citizens to Parliament” which started as a pilot last year with funding from Star –Ghana is now scaled up to reach citizens with technical and financial support from OSIWA. In this second more widely reaching phase, Penplusbytes has delivered well-developed digital platforms that enhance interaction between CGA, Civil Society Organization (CSO), citizens and other stakeholder to better track and monitor assurances and projects promised by government.

The “Connecting Citizens to Parliament” project is set to boost the capacity of the CGA on one hand and citizens on the other by increasing and closing feedback loops via sms web-platform, mobile app as well as social media tools such as whatsapp, facebook, twitter, etc.

Delivering a speech at the launch, the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzrah stated that Citizen engagement is vital to the survival of democracy in current democratic dispensation, the case of the Arab spring , ie Tunisia and Egypt where governments were removed through the use of social media, adding that any government that wants to survive its mandate must engage the constituents.

He noted that the platform will bring together stakeholders such as MPs, government officials, ordinary citizens, CSOs, and the media to enable to the table using digital platform with the hope that we will have faithful deliberations on how collectively we can make democracy work for Ghana through closing the feedback.