REPORT ON CENTRE FOR CITIZENS EMPOWERMENT, CCE- GHANA
Centre for Citizens Empowerment, was incorporated on 12th March, 2014 and subsequently given certificate to commence business on 14th March, 2014.
The Centre was however inaugurated on 31st January, 2015 during the 2ndAnnual General conference of the Ghana National Association of ADR Practitioners (GNAAP) held at the Center for Conflict Resolution (CENCOR), North Dworwulu, Accra.
In attendance were several GNAAP members and dignitaries comprising of Chiefs, Media personnel and was chaired by Rev. Dr. Dr. Daniel Anum. The guest speaker was no other person than Justice Irene Larbi, Appeals Court Judge and the Judge in charge of Alternative Dispute Resolution at the Judicial Service of Ghana. It was during this same event that the Centre launched its support programme called “support the vulnerable at least GH1.00 a week fund”.
The centre can also gladly report on successfully having some media engagements in Accra. On the 5th and 26th of March, 2015, Dr. Justina N. Bediako, National Coordinator for the Centre and the President of GNAAP, Hon. Robert Sarfo Mensah respectively engaged in media (TV) discussions concerning the activities of the centre and the role ADR practitioners are playing as an alternative for out of court settlements. These discussions were shown live on Amansan TV, inside Coconut Grove Hotel, Accra.
The opportunity came again when Peace Fm invited the above mentioned personalities for an in-depth interview. The interview coincided with an assault case of 26 year old Ghanaian lady and a Chinese merchant (retailer). The approach and manner with which the panel deliberated on the issue made listeners begin to patronize the Centre more frequently than before.
CCE-Ghana has successfully ended the year 2015 and can boast of giant strives and achievements. So far it has listened and attended to sixty six (66) cases which consist of Family disputes, Land Disputes, Marital Disagreements, Child Maintenance, Confrontations, Labour Dispute, Compensations on health issues and many others. The only issues the centre doesn’t attempt tackling are criminal offences.
Among the above cases Thirty-four (34) of them have be resolved amicably. However, since ADR practice and implementation is quite new in Ghana people including our clients need to be schooled to buy into ADR system.
Thirty-two (32) of cases are still ongoing, some have delayed because of uncompromising respondents and the interruptive role of third and fourth parties. Other times dishonesty and insincerity on the part of some of our Complainants and Respondents alike lead to unfruitful settlement of cases or unnecessary delays. Some of them have also been referred to our Lawyers and they are working on it at the court.
The fact that ADR practice is quick, less expensive, engenders friendship and relations instead of breaking them and several other benefits makes it a preferred choice in recent times. Just that the publicity and campaign should be intensified.
Lack of funds has rendered the centre a bit restricted in its activities and therefore call on all and sundry to help either in cash or kind to support the activities of the Centre which is aims towards free legal aid and counseling to the vulnerable and marginalizes in society.
The Centre Projects as follows:
1. 50 remand prioners to be served by November, 2016.
2. 100 family disputes to be resolved by December, 2016. This shall be achieved through public engagement.
3. Probono Lawyers shall be increase from five to fifteen.
4. Increasing the number of mediators.
Isaac Asare, Administrator.
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