The European Union and its partners ended the ARAP programme in Ghana with a ceremony that summed up its achievements
Accra has hosted the closing ceremony of the Accountability, Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Program (ARAP), a programme funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by FIIAPP, which has supported the efforts of the Government of Ghana in its fight against corruption by assisting key institutions.
The complexity of corruption and good governance require complex interventions at multiple levels capable of promoting institutional reform and citizen awareness. ARAP has contributed to current reform processes by supporting key institutions to reduce corruption and improve accountability and compliance with the rule of law. It has also increased the capacity of civil society, organisations and the media to hold the government to account.
The ARAP programme has promoted the use of new technologies and digital platforms as necessary tools to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of public bodies in the daily management system since, in a context of a highly digitised world, the use of ICT continues to be a fundamental tool for all communication and public education.
The focus on new technologies has also been essential for the continuity of the ARAP programme as the promotion of online work has allowed it to fulfil its planning, despite the challenging circumstances imposed by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The latest project supported by ARAP consisted of the creation of the Legal Web Library, the result of a partnership between the Judicial Power, the Judicial Service and the Council of Legal Reports, an online platform that provides a full collection of national legislation, decisions and judicial support rules and regulations and judicial comments accessible to judges, magistrates, the Bar Association and all actors working in the criminal justice sector.
The ceremony was well attended by programme stakeholders as well as international officials. The Spanish ambassador to Ghana, Alicia Ricco, underlined during her speech that “as one of the main implementers of ARAP, FIIAPP has launched a complex and multidisciplinary programme that adopts a multi-level and multi-stakeholder approach, to support national efforts that address both supply and demand in the chain of accountability and anti-corruption, strengthening the rule of law”.
Meanwhile, the director of the programme highlighted that “ARAP has not only strengthened coordination between institutions of the justice sector at the national level, but has also fostered the participation of Ghana’s institutions at the international level, promoting the exchange of peer experiences and participation in international networks”.
The EU ambassador to Ghana, Diana Acconcia, stressed that “international cooperation and the harmonisation of national and international law are mandatory steps in the fight against corruption.”
ARAP has worked directly with multiple institutions in the justice sector such as the Judicial Service (JS), the State Attorney General’s Office (AG), the Human Rights and Administrative Justice Commission (CHRAJ), the Legal Assistance Commission (LAC), the National Civic Education Commission (NCCE), the Ghana Police Service (GPS), the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).