Ghana risks mismanaging its new oil find just like its gold and other mineral if transparent governance systems are not in place.
To this end, Penplusbytes, a leading civil society organisation based in Accra, Ghana, is partnering Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) to develop a digital platform that will enable citizens participates in the oversight role of monitoring the oil and gas sector.
According to partners to the deal, the partnership formed the online component of activities in the project; “Improving Transparency in Ghana’s gas and oil sector” with technical support and funding from UKaid, formerly DFID. The project aims at improving transparency in the management of Ghana’s oil and gas resources through active participation of citizens and relevant stakeholders.
It also seeks to reduce the risk of mismanagement through fiscal accountability, contract transparency other regulatory frameworks. Kwami Ahiabenu II, president of Penplusbytes said “Penplusbytes’ rich experience in applying technology to enable citizens participate in decision making process backed by in-country experiences from Ghana, Uganda, Liberia, Tanzania, will ensure the development an online platform that will take into consideration the needs citizens and the development of a user-friendly application that will project the concerns of citizens whiles at the same time solicit feedback from duty bearers for greater advocacy”.
The online platform will be the tool to carry citizens along on the happenings in the governance of the oil sector. The project is expected to facilitate citizen’s participation in spending decision through; two-way interactive SMS messages, mailing list, mobile app, interactive voice response systems (IVR), mobile apps and integrated with social media all geared toward meeting the citizens where they are and which platform they comfortable to use to ensure greater participation.
Dr. Mohammed Amin Executive Director of ACEP said “we are excited to work with Penplusbytes on this project, since they are a lead organization in developing tools and applications that promote citizen participation in governance and we believe their vast experience in deploying new digital technologies for citizen engagement combined with ACEP’s research and advocacy capabilities will help the project in achieving it ultimate objective of citizens’ participation. Penplusbytes is one key organization which understands technology and governance to help us achieve project goals”.
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