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“Empowering citizens with the internet”

November 19th, 2016

kwasi-gyamfi-asieduAccessing information about local and regional development projects has become easier, writes Kwasi Gyamfi Asiedu, 20, a Correspondent from Ghana, thanks to a website designed for the public.

Citizens have long been encouraged to participate in governance by asking important questions and contributing in any way they can with their knowledge and expertise. However, for many this is very difficult for many reasons including the lack of access to essential information.

A group of young Ghanaians has decided to solve this with TransGov.

TransGov is a web portal that allows citizens to check on the progress of developmental projects such as schools, roads, housing and hospitals, in their own localities.

“TransGov aims to strengthen citizens’ oversight of local government projects for participatory, transparent and accountable service delivery and feedback processes,” said Jerry Akanyi-King, chief executive officer of TransGov at the launch of the website in September.

The website http://www.transgovgh.org has an array of these government projects, their budgets, the date of commencement and scheduled completion, geo-location and other relevant information about the projects.

Visitors to the website can also subscribe to a particular project of interest to them, and they will receive constant updates on its status. This ensures that citizens can hold their leaders accountable for delays in completion and overspending. It also serves as an avenue for the government to communicate to citizens about the work it is doing on the people’s behalf.

“I truly believe, that together we will continue to accomplish significant work for the greater good and lead the change to achieve our goal of fostering citizen participation in the governance of our beloved country,” Akanyi-King said about the impact of the project.

The chairperson of the event, Dorothy Gordon, who is also the Director-General of the Kofi Annan ICT Centre, tasked the TransGov team to involve more citizens, especially women, in its make up in order to enjoy the numerous benefits of diversity.

A mobile application and an interactive voice response system that will ensure those who cannot read will not be left out of the process would also be rolled out soon.

Photo credit: courtesy of Kwasi Gyamfi Asiedu

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About me: I am Kwasi, a journalism student from Ghana. I hope to use my skills to tell positive stories about marginalised communities in the world, with the belief that these stories would force action that improves the lives of the people.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/

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