NCCE called upon to collaborate with media on SOC education 

By Laudia Sawer, GNA 

Tema, April 3, GNA – The National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) has been urged to collaborate with the media and civil society organisations to undertake comprehensive public education on Serious and Organised Crime (SOC). 

The advice was contained in a communiqué issued by the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) after a training workshop for media practitioners and civil society organisations on SOC threats during elections. 

It noted that there was a need to provide the public with insight into the effect of SOC on the outcome of elections. 

It said the government should ensure that state agencies were properly resourced to carry out their functions innovatively to help sensitise the people, implement laws on SOC, and prosecute offenders. 

“The government must equip law enforcement and investigative bodies with appropriate high-tech crime units that respond to quick investigations to assist law enforcement agencies,” it stated. 

The communiqué further advocated for law enforcement officials to be made cyber-sensitive through adequate training and support by an expert group with specialised knowledge in the relevant fields. 

Participants at the workshop agreed that the Electoral Commission must undertake the requisite legal reforms to ensure that political parties capture donations to candidates and expenditures by candidates who represented their party in public elections. 

This was to guarantee comprehensive accountability concerning the financing of electoral campaigns. 

The media practitioners pledged to use their respective platforms to support the commitment to confront issues of SOC that threaten the core of Ghana’s democratic fabric. 

They also promised to factor state enforcement bodies’ needs into their reportage on SOC and electoral issues and to be more deliberate and diligent when covering them. 

Mrs Beauty Emefa Narteh, the Executive Secretary of the GACC, said the workshop was organised by her outfit, the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), and the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII). 

Mrs Narteh said it was aimed at enhancing the media’s capacity to contribute to the fight against SOC threats in the lead-up to the 2024 elections. 

She indicated that the workshop formed part of the project titled “Safeguarding Ghana’s Stability in the Face of Serious and Organised Crime (SOC) Threats During the Elections.” 

She added that the project aimed to deepen public understanding through the media, enhancing monitoring mechanisms, and garnering commitment from both the public and political actors to combat SOC. 

It also aimed at recognising that media practitioners were entrusted with power as the fourth estate of the political realm to play a pivotal role in shaping the country’s democratic narrative, hence the need to equip them with the necessary knowledge to effectively integrate the combating of SOC threats into their coverage and preparations for the Election 2024.  

Mrs Narteh said it also acknowledged the policies and laws that prohibited the perpetration of SOC activities in Ghana, expressing worry that the spectre of SOC loomed, presenting a real and present danger to the integrity of elections in Ghana due to the potential use of illicit methods to achieve victory during elections. 

Mrs Narteh  said the project also identified that there were weaknesses and gaps in existing legal, policy, and operational regimes that hampered effective investigation and prosecution of SOC-related crimes.