A day’s capacity building workshop on Grassroot Organizations in the Ahafo region, has been held for Non-Governmental Organizations, Community Based Organizations (CBOs), Youth Associations among others.
The workshop held at Asutifi North District Assembly’s hall,Kenyasi was organized by Ahafo Movement for Development at Asutifi north and funded by Global Greengrant Fund (GGF),a global donor Organization based in United State of America(USA).
The capacity workshop was under the theme “, SHARING LESSONS AND EXPERIENCES ON GRASSROOT ADVOCACY”.
The Resource person for the workshop, Dr.Abdulai Dramani who doubles as Mining, lands and Local Government Lecturer at the University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani in Bono region took his time to walk the participants through four(4) thematic areas, namely; knowing and understanding advocacy, sharing lessons and experience; context in which advocacy takes place, and grassroot organizations.
He explained why Lawyers go to court by highlighting on the need for affected people to find their voices.”There must be a purpose,or an objective for anyone to go to court.This happens with the aim to achieving a payback or justice”.Dr,Dramani further explained that it is not only lawyers who engage in advocacy activities to address problems. According to him, advocacy is a set of activities carried out to address a problem. All grasssroot organizations engage in advocacy’”, he added.
The resource Person took participants through three (3) methods of advocacy as being non-violent, involving cost and loss of time.”An example of non-violent advocacy method is marriage where parents act for children in marriage processes. The cost aspect is what a client pays to a lawyer for his service and the immaterial things which affect advocacy methods is time”,he noted. He also explained the different levels of advocacy with examples as chiefs, Assembly members, unit committee members and those who seek positions in Associations to address the problems. The speaker explained further that he context in which advocacy takes place as right and obligations.
He said in the past “our actions and behaviours were regulated by customs and traditions, but now they are regulated by laws, obligations ,rights and privileges”.
Dr.Abdulai Dramani said through government’s policies and Act of Parliament, lands can be taken for public interest. Adding that in Ghana, currently, there is no law that prohibits government from acquiring lands for public interest and since free prior informed consent has not yet been domesticated in the country, no one can refuse government compulsory acquisitions of their lands for public interest .In exercising citizens’ rights, Dr.Dramani distinguished between surface rights and ownership of the minerals under the surface of the land as belonging to all the people of Ghana. The landowner has an obligations to surrender his land to the government for the mining under an act of Parliament”,he added.Dr.Dramani emphasized that the importance of our obligations such as registration of our vehicles, payment of taxes ,child care, national service and others.The Resource Person also advised the participants to work in unity and collectively to achieve their organizational visions and missions with respect to effective advocacy.
The workshop participants shared their experiences and lessons on rights to include rights to property, rights to vote lands surface rights, property right, right to life, right to expression, right to talk, and rights to free movement.The participants thanked Dr.Abdulai Dramani for the education given them as asked Ahafo Movement for Development for more of such important workshop in the future
Hon.Samuel Abu Jinapor-Minister lands & Forestry