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Executive Summary

Résumé exécutif

Résumé exécutif: Ghana

Le Ghana dispose d'un ensemble d'engagements juridiques en faveur du pluralisme, mais des inégalités structurelles entravent ses progrès.


Global Centre for Pluralism

Overall Score: 6.5

This assessment was completed in 2022.

Ghana has long been touted as a model of peace, stability and democracy in Africa. Parliamentary elections have remained consistent and legitimate since 1992, allowing for Ghana’s heterogeneous society to build stable democratic institutions. However, a state’s institutional capacity is one facet of determining the state of pluralism in a given country. The Global Pluralism Monitor: Ghana report showcases how a country with ethnolinguistic, religious and migrant diversity reckons with differences brought on by regional development and gender. Rightfully, this report sheds light on the intersectional diversity types of ethnic group(s), the North-South regional divide and religion while maintaining a gender lens.

While Ghana scores high on most pluralism indicators across all groups, there are notable exceptions regarding intergroup relations and belonging. Exclusions based on gender across all dimensions are one of the most concerning trends emerging from this report, with an emphasis on political underrepresentation and socioeconomic inequality.

Legal Commitments

Ghana has adopted and ratified multiple international and regional human rights treaties, spanning across women’s and refugee’s rights to social, political and cultural rights, among others. Significant progress in adopting these treaties into domestic law led to establishing the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection as stipulated in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). However, treaty implementation is challenged by the lack of political commitment and resources needed to maintain institutions that administer and protect human rights.

Ghana’s 1992 Constitution recognizes and protects the right to no discrimination for all social and cultural groups. While per the Ghanaian Constitution, no individual is denied citizenship on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender or religion, some groups are nonetheless excluded as . Notably, nomadic Fulani pastoralists are denied Ghanaian citizenship even if born in the country, creating a statelessness crisis that is further troubled by the legacy of their expulsion by the government between 1999 and 2000.

Practices and Leadership

Ghana relies on statutory agencies to implement pluralistic policies, such as the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE). This approach, however, has led to the uneven or nonexistent implementation of policies due to a lack of resources for these institutions. Ghanaians are able to express their discontent as their right to freedom of assembly is protected by the Constitution and most Ghanaians have access to partake in protests and litigations as forms of claims-making. However, not many Ghanaians participate in these processes as the partisan nature of politics tends to delegitimize and undermine any type of mobilization or contestation.

Most Ghanaians have access to partake in protests and litigations as forms of claims-making.

Despite these issues of political partisanship, political parties show a commitment to pluralism through their diverse membership. Political parties often aim to develop a national appeal that reflects the diversity of the nation, indicating a strong political landscape that acknowledges the benefits of respect for diversity. Likewise, civil society can be described as vibrant and , which often contributes to disaggregated data collection regarding social formations and inequalities across the country

Group-based Inequalities, Intergroup Relations and Belonging

The Monitor report underscores many socioeconomic and intergroup trust tensions across Ghana. Disparities in access to education and healthcare based on economic factors are heavily influenced by the Northern and Southern regional divide, with the North having significantly lower access to quality education than the South. The North is experiencing increasing levels of income poverty in comparison to the South, due to historic underinvestment in the North. Consequently, women in the North fare worse than their Southern counterparts, with an increased vulnerability for adolescent women who migrate to the South for economic opportunities.

As it concerns a shared sense of ownership of society, there appears to be broad acceptance of ethnic groups. However, politics remain inaccessible for women and those outside of the political elite, exacerbating feelings of exclusion. Ethnic acceptance into society is also undermined when considering the systemic exclusion, stigma and violence faced by Fulani pastoralists, who are often perceived as outsiders by Ghanaians Additionally, because Fulani communities are overwhelmingly Muslim and predominantly located in the north, their exclusion from society also impact the religious and regional divides underscored throughout the report.

The north is currently seeing increasing levels of income poverty compared to the south and the national rate, which can be traced back to underinvestment in the north. Women in the North fare worse than their counterparts in the South, with an increased vulnerability for adolescent women who migrate to the south for economic opportunities.

Monitor Takeaways

Pluralism in Ghana is unique due its diversity between regions, ethnicity, religion and gender. Trends and gaps identified in the report bring to light the intersectional nature of these diversity types, and the need to support initiatives that address these issues. There remain gaps in access to the political sphere, the formal economy, protection of those working in the informal economy (a sector where diversity is the highest), education, and healthcare particularly in the North of the country and for women. Thus, initiatives and programs on women’s rights and economic empowerment and consultations with ethnic groups in the North about their current economic status, and access to health care, are essential in strengthening pluralism in Ghana.

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The Monitor’s recommendations echo what experts, activists and stakeholders have called for in Ghana and provide several pathways to pluralism for the country.

The Monitor’s recommendations reinforce what experts, activists and stakeholders have long called for in Ghana and provided several pathways to pluralism for the country.

  • By prioritizing the implementation of national policies based on inclusiveness to achieve beneficial social and economic outcomes, a pluralistic ethos can be created and fostered in Ghana.
  • Ensuring equitable developmental infrastructure for Northern regions may result in improved social and economic conditions for the peoples in the region.
  • Through coordination between government departments and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, gender mainstreaming can be incorporated into all policies.
  • Address data collection challenges in collecting data on government spending and budget allocation based on ethno-cultural background and district level.
  • The adequate and proper funding of state institutions responsible for promoting civic values, pluralistic ethics and social justice (e.g., the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice) can help ensure that they can perform their duties.

Documents supplémentaires

Profil du Pays: Ghana

Le Ghana a mis en œuvre une série de politiques pluralistes. Cependant, la réalité révèle une incapacité à prévenir la discrimination.

Évaluation Nationale du Moniteur: Ghana

Considéré comme un modèle de démocratie, le Ghana est confronté à des problèmes d'égalité des genres qui limitent sa capacité à devenir pluraliste

Ghana: References

To access more information that went behind the development of the Ghana Monitor report, you can access the references below.