|National Constitution Review Conference|
From Tuesday, the 1st to Saturday, the 15th of March, the National Constitution Review Conference was held at the Accra International Conference Centre. The theme for the conference was “The Constitution; Our Identity”.
This was the first time in the history of the country that 2996 Ghanaians met over the course of 5 days to deliberate on how to strengthen the operation of a subsisting constitution.Ghanaians from all over the country, all strata of society and all shades of opinion participated in the conference, which also served as a representative national platform where summaries of some 85,000 submissions were tabled for national debate. The conference also brought together persons with expert and experimental knowledge on the various themes and issues arising from the submission. The Commission was assisted by 98 facilitators and consultants include 10 international consultants, to design and deploy a deliberative and participatory conference around some 45 group discussions. The overall aim of the conference was to thoroughly discuss the strengths and weakness of the 1992 constitution and durable solutions and options for possible constitutional redesign.
In all, 12 thematic areas, 77 sub-themes and hundreds of issues were discussed. No area of Ghana’s 1992 constitution was left untouched as representative of the private sector; gender groups; children ; persons with disability ; youth group ; professional bodies and associations; government , ministries , department and agencies ; Metropolitan/ Municipal / District Assemblies; civil society organizations ; parliament , the council of state; the judiciary and many others spent several days critically examining the operations of our constitution . Many Ghanaians at home and abroad also participated actively in the conference by watching it live on Ghana television and on the internet sending in their views by SMS message to the short code 1992 or through the internet. The views recorded from the internet were from as far as the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Tunisia.
As with the Community, District, Regional and Special Consultations, the Commission recorded multi-sectoral support and vigorous participation at the Conference.
The Commission would like to thank all those who participated in the Conference, especiallly2996 representatives who attended at their own cost.
After an elaborate evaluation of the Conference, the Commission has began instituting corrective action to address the few shortfalls that were identified.
After ascertaining the views of the peoples of Ghana on the operation of the 1992 Constitution and submitting them for national debate, the Commission now moves into the next phase of its mandate ; articulating those views in the form of a final report and a draft bill for possible amendments to the 1992 Constitution. The Commission intends to continue working with a select group of experts who attended the conference in the task ahead.
The Commission would like to remind Ghanaians that the closing date for the receipt of submission was 31st December, 2010. The only submission that the Commission will receive and process after that date are the following:
1. Submission in Braille, because the Braille versions of the Commission’s material was not sent out early enough;
Prof. Albert K. Fiadjoe
(Chair, Constitution Review Commission)