Democracy is said to be government for the people by the people and of the people. This saying indeed came to full realization at the just ended first ever policy fair as government decided to open up its doors to the public to show what it was doing and how far it would go in leading Ghanaians through the Better Ghana Agenda.
The fair, under the theme, "Engaging the Citizenry for a better Ghana" is a further boost to Ghana’s democracy and if it has come to stay and will be repeated annually and replicated in other regions as officialdom promised then citizens will stand to benefit. The massive attendance was an indication of how the public was interested in issues of accountability and transparency.
According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, "a policy is a plan of action agreed or chosen by a political party or a business or a principle that a person believes in that influences how that person usually behaves". President John Evans Atta Mills and his team should therefore be commended for organizing the policy fair.
But a particular representative in charge of the stand of certain institution nearly marred my joy. His attitude to the public left much to be desired: he was reluctant in providing answers. Organizations should educate their representatives that they are there for the public and must be courteous when dealing with them.
The display of Ghana’s beautiful culture showcasing women and girls clad in different shades of Ghana’s Kente cloth singing and dancing to the traditional tunes caught my attention the moment I entered the main hall of the Accra International Conference Centre. This was at the Ministry of Tourism stand and I decided to draw closer to see things for myself. Indeed the drumming and dancing were spectacular and no amount words could describe what I witnessed.
The various lectures that were organized were an eye-opener as all the topics discussed focused on how Ghana could speed its development process. There were topics also related to oil and gas find and I felt this was indeed timely.
The organization of this fair has provided the citizenry with the gist of policy making and has brought into the limelight the commendable work of some government departments and agencies which have always been in the shadows.
A cross section of Ghanaians has commended the government for its performance relative to transparency and accountability. I only hope that government will not renege on its to take the fair to the regional capitals and the remote areas to get one and all involved in working towards the Better Ghana Agenda.
The policy fair has truly served as a bridge between the government and the governed. The machinery of government is no more a mystery to those who hitherto thought it was an inexplicable venture. I believe Ghanaians have been empowered to probe, ask and demand answers from duty bearers.