The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Aaron Oquaye, has urged civil society and state institutions to take active interest in Parliament’s activities.
He said he was aware those bodies generated data, and as such urged them to find ways to continuously supply Members of Parliament (MPs) with their researched evidence and information.
“They must not wait for Parliament to conclude work only to criticise as some of them sometimes do,” the Speaker noted.
In a speech read on his behalf by the National Democratic Congress MP for Nadowli West, Mr Alban S. Bagbin, at the opening ceremony of the Africa Evidence Week in Accra, he said “better access to information and research can help empower legislatures to formulate and pass effective legislation and perform effective scrutiny of the government.
“Political arguments become richer and better because Members of Parliament receive up-to-date information through these departments,” Prof. Oquaye continued.
The Speaker advised participants to actively participate in the various scheduled programmes to be abreast with the various sources of research and information products that were available in order to enrich their knowledge and support their work in their various endeavours.
Africa Evidence Week
PACKS Africa, a youth-led Pan-African think tank together with Inter-Departmental Research and Information Group (IDRIG) of the Parliament of Ghana, under the auspices of the Parliamentary Service of Ghana is organising this year’s Africa Evidence Week, which ultimately seeks to showcase the state of evidence used on the continent, and among other outcomes, to foster collaboration between individual organisations.
The celebrations are being coordinated virtually across the continent by the Africa Evidence Network (AEN) which is a community of people working in Africa, and have an interest in evidence, its production and use in decision-making.
The celebrations started on Tuesday and ended yesterday on the premises of the Parliament of Ghana.
About 120 people, crosscutting government, private sector and civil society organisations are participating.
The acting Clerk of Parliament, Alhaji Gombilla, said limited information to MPs could create monstrous laws that could destroy society and roll back democratic gains.
He said the Parliamentary Service Board was currently streamlining the capacity building efforts relating to information provision within the service to expand it to cover all departments whose mandate bordered on provision of information support.
He also announced that strategic actions to facilitate the entrenchment of the use of evidence in Ghana’s legislature were being formulated and incorporated into a strategic plan to be implemented in the next five years.