A platform of Civil Society Organizations in Ghana, the CSOs Platform on Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs) has kicked against a new policy by the government to regulate the activities of NPOs in the country.
At a press conference held in Accra on Tuesday, the group, pointed out inconsistencies in the new policy and also the lack of opportunity for them to make inputs as strong reasons behind their decision to kick against the new policy.
“We are calling on the Government of Ghana to as a matter of urgency halt the implementation of the NPO Policy and Directives, and consider its review through a more participatory process to authenticate its effectiveness and usefulness to the state,” they said in a press statement.
The statement had been read by Mr. Richard Kasu, along with Mr. Nelson Richardson Mandela who had also fielded questions from journalists.
According to the group, horrible inconsistencies in the new policy only make for a rather confused outcome of the policy that the government had intended to regulate the NPO sector.
“We however wish to indicate that the NPO Policy and Directives as in its current form lacks the merit of its purpose, and the process lacked adequate consultation of the numerous key stakeholders of whom are affected by the policy.”
The group pointed out that, there are so many inconsistencies between the NPO Policy and the Directives, “which seeks to suggest that, the policy and directives were formulated in haste and multiple opinions were not sorted to ensure it is fit for purpose.”
For instance, they said, one part of the policy suggests the codes of conduct will be developed by NPOs as self-regulatory peer review mechanisms; whiles other sections indicate that the codes of conduct will be developed by the NPO Secretariat; however the NPO Policy Directives, stipulates that the codes of conduct will be developed collaboratively between the NPOs and NPO Secretariat.
“The definition of the Non-Profit Organisations (NPO) by the policy is not exhaustive and just assumes Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) are equated to non-profit organisations, and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) seems to even be neglected, and the diversity and wider scope of NGOs and their operations are not well catered for in the policy definitions.”
According to Mr. Richard Kasu, the reason for the poor outcome is that the NPOs were not allowed to make input into the policy formulation.
Out of the over 3000 NPOs in Ghana, only five were invited for discussions.