About us - Ghana Office
Welcome to the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung!
Freedom, justice and solidarity are the basic principles underlying the work of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS). The KAS is a political foundation, closely associated with the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU). As co-founder of the CDU and the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Konrad Adenauer (1876-1967) united Christian-social, conservative and liberal traditions. His name is synonymous with the democratic reconstruction of Germany, the firm alignment of foreign policy with the trans-Atlantic community of values, the vision of a unified Europe and an orientation towards the social market economy. His intellectual heritage continues to serve both as our aim as well as our obligation today.
In our European and international cooperation efforts we work for people to be able to live self-determined lives in freedom and dignity. We make a contribution underpinned by values to helping Germany meet its growing responsibilities throughout the world.
We encourage people to lend a hand in shaping the future along these lines. With more than 70 offices abroad and projects in over 120 countries, we make a unique contribution to the promotion of democracy, the rule of law and a social market economy. To foster peace and freedom we encourage a continuous dialog at the national and international levels as well as the exchange between cultures and religions.
Human beings in their distinctive dignity and with their rights and responsibilities are at the heart of our work. We are guided by the conviction that human beings are the starting point in the effort to bring about social justice and democratic freedom while promoting sustainable economic activity. By bringing people together who embrace their responsibilities in society, we develop active networks in the political and economic spheres as well as in society itself. The guidance we provide on the basis of our political know-how and knowledge helps to shape the globalization process along more socially equitable, ecologically sustainable and economically efficient lines.
We cooperate with governmental institutions, political parties, civil society organizations and handpicked elites, building strong partnerships along the way. In particular we seek to intensify political cooperation in the area of development cooperation at the national and international levels on the foundations of our objectives and values. Together with our partners we make a contribution to the creation of an international order that enables every country to develop in freedom and under its own responsibility.
The International Office at Accra oversees projects in Ghana.
Main objectives of KAS in Ghana
Due to the challenges facing an infant democracy as encountered in Ghana, the activities of the Stiftung aim at,
- Supporting economic and socio-political reforms of the present government;
- Strengthening the role of the parliament as an institution of political decision making;
- Promoting the participation of all strata of society in the political process, particularly by programmes for political education at grassroots level carried out by organisations of the civil society (NGOs);
- Promote the participation in local politics, particularly in the framework of the decentralisation process;
- Promoting the effective integration of traditional structures into the modern state administration for meaningful development at local (district) level;
- Creating a legal environment where the citizens can be sure of their rights; and
- Promoting gender equality as a cross-cutting task.
In order to attain these objectives, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung works with local institutions and organisations from government, legislative bodies, parastatals as well as civil society. It grants them financial support and offers coaching for:
- The execution of education programmes, conferences, seminars and workshops etc.;
- Capacity building (e.g. by modest subsidies to personnel expenditure and office infrastructure as well as further training of the personnel);
- The development of strategy concepts; as well as
- The preparation, publication and dissemination of publications.
These activities take place in all regions of Ghana.
Background considerations and partners
Private sector and socio-economic reforms: Commitment to the principles of the Social Market Economy
The new NDC government led by Prof. Atta Mills has fully endorsed the leading role of the private sector as the driving force for economic development and social justice.
The incumbent government will certainly need some years to improve the national economy. The success or failure in this area will have a substantial influence on the future development of a full-fledged democracy in Ghana. A failure of the current government in the field of politico-economic reforms would have undoubtedly a detrimental effect on the democratisation process, since this would damage the population's confidence in the democratic institutions' ability to problem solving.
In this context, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung is convinced that, the Social Market Economy (SME) is providing a suitable framework for economic activities at national and international levels. Above all, the challenge of tackling the global financial and economic crisis asks for international rules. The model of the Social Market Economy provides such a guiding framework. The SME has proven itself succesful in the national context. Also the states of the European Union commit themselves in the Treaty of Lisbon to promote a "competitive social market economy".
The parliament as an institution of political decision making!
Central to the task of consolidating Ghana's young democracy is the strengthening of the parliament as a venue for political decision making. Above all, the significance as a constitutional body needs to be strongly anchored in the consciousness of the population. This is to be promoted by means of a dialogue and co-operation between parliament and important social groups, above all by NGOs with grass-roots legitimation.
As a supporting measure, so to speak as a countercurrent principle, the KAS Ghana seeks closer ties with the economic committee of the national parliament.
Promoting transparency and political participation with organisations of the civil society (NGOs)
In Ghana, politics is still a matter of the too few. The representation of interests is too often than not done in a complex clientelistic environment, which is deprived from public control. This applies partly also to the political parties and is thereby to a large extent responsible for their bad public reputation. Many -- not all -- organisations of the civil society, however, enjoy a much higher public confidence. This is due to their relatively clearly defined approach and publicly well-known common interest. For this reason they play an increasingly important role for lower social strata in view of their participation in and the control of political decisions. This goes well beyond the once-every-four-years ballot casting.
The organisations of the civil society increasingly acknowledge that the four intervention areas:
- Participation in and control of political decisions;
- Political mass education;
- The rule of law; and
- Mobilisation of self-help potentials
are interlinked directly with one another, and produce themselves amplifying reciprocal effects. From this they derive rightfully that the political conditions prevailing in the country are crucial for a sustainable socio-economic development. Above all, this attitude can be increasingly observed with commercial and professional federations, as well as with organisations that work in the social welfare field. These groups organise themselves around a common cause. As a result of this they show an increased interest and a large readiness to express themselves politically, act politically and are willing to organise civic education programmes for the masses. It is against this background that they and their members are promoted by KAS with the objective to upgrade their ability to:
- Professional self-organisation;
- Execution of civic education programmes for the masses;
- Articulation of political interests; and
- To foster political participation.