Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa - Deputy Education Minister
Dr. Richard Winfred Anane, MP - former Health Minister, and Parliamentary Health Committee Chair
Vitus Azeem - Executive Director of Ghana Integrity Initiative (Transparency International)
Franklin Cudjoe - Executive Director Imani Center for Policy and Education
Alina Rocha Menocal - Senior Fellow at the Developmental Leadership Program
The press launch of our new case study on Ghana featured a panel discussion on health, education and democracy. It was broadcast live on CitiFM. See #GhanaVoice on Twitter to catch up on the conversation.
The new report, ‘Ghana, the rising star’, explores how Ghana has achieved one of the most successful transitions to multi-party democracy in sub-Saharan Africa and why Ghanaians are on balance becoming healthier, better educated, more politically enfranchised and freer to express their views than every other African nation.
It finds that three out of four Ghanaians are satisfied with the quality of their country’s democracy. Analysis of voter choices demonstrates that Ghanaian politicians’ jobs depend more upon their effectiveness in delivering services than by clientism, whereby loyalty is based much more on ethnic, tribal or class alliances. The shows that the votes of Ghana’s poor are just as responsive to good or bad service delivery as the more educated urban middle classes.
‘Ghana, the rising star’ credits the country’s robust and responsive democracy as a major driver for social improvements, including a sharp increase in child immunization rates, huge advances in pre-primary education and Ghana’s status as one of only a handful of non-OECD nations to provide free and universal health coverage.
But the report also highlights that the pace of progress has been slower in its poorer, rural regions. For example, child mortality is four times higher in the north of the country than in the wealthier western region and women in rural areas report an average of 7 years of schooling, while women in urban areas report 10 years. Similarly, uptake of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) membership ranges from 13% in the Central region to 70% in the Upper West region in 2008.
Following the launch, we spoke to five experts on the key areas and drivers of progress on political voice in Ghana. You can listen to the interviews below.