TEERE , a Non-Governmental Organization, working in the area of local governance, women empowerment , culture and development with the support from the Strengthening Transparency Accountability and Responsiveness in Ghana(STAR-Ghana) and Robert Bosch foundation, facilitated in developing the roadmap for the umbrella of the CSO’s in the Region. TEERE literally means a positive change in the Gurune Language.
Speaking at the occasion, the Chief Executive Officer Professor Avea Nsoh, stated that unlike the other regions, the Upper East Region is confronted with numerous challenges which called for pulling of resources and ideas together to support government and other stakeholders confront the issues.
Professor Nsoh , who served as the Upper East and Upper West Regional Minister respectively under the present government, expressed optimism that with a common front of the Umbrella of CSOs, they could support government to tackle the myriad of problems confronting the region in the areas of governance, education, health and the agriculture as well as eliminating some of the negative cultural practices in the area.
On the issues of governance , the CEO , regretted the low turn outs of people to vote during elections and the spate of spoiling of ballot papers in many communities during voting exercise.
He stated that already TEERE with the support from STAR-Ghana, had begun educating and sensitizing communities on the need to turn out to vote and also on how to cast their votes correctly to avoid the spoilage of ballot papers in the Bongo and the Bolgatanga Municipality.
“ With the formation of the common umbrella of the CSOs, the programme could be scaled up to the remaining eleven Districts in the region to help reduce the recurrences of this phenomenon which happens in almost every election. As a group we could make a greater impact by strengthening the democratic process of the country and also help in cutting cost the nation of spend so much money in printing ballot papers for election only to be spoiled “, the CEO stressed.
Mr Eric Banye, a Senior Advisor of SNV, a Netherlands Development Organization, who lauded the initiative, stated that with the Umbrella of the CSOs, they have the greater opportunity of getting more support from development partners to carry out many activities than just being being one CSO.
He stated that what was needed now was stronger collaboration, teamwork, networking, cooperation, coordination, and partnership as well as the sharing of information among the CSOs.
“You must ensure that there is clear communication, trust , clearly defined goals and roles, sense of belonging and accomplishment. You need to standby each other when things get tough. Words of supports and inspiration help energise those ahead in spite of the day’s pressure. You need to also know that opposing views are difference from criticism and you need to accept that”, Senior Advisor of SNV admonished the group.
Among the key pledges made by the Umbrella CSOs in their roadmap is to work together to ensure successful and peaceful election in the upcoming general election.
By Samuel Adadi Akapule, Bolgatanga