CSOs Present Proposals To 2024 NDC Manifesto Committee

Some civil society organisations (CSOs) have called on the 2024 National Democratic Congress (NDC) Manifesto Committee to include in their manifesto the formulation of a National Philanthropy policy, including tax incentives or exemptions, to facilitate charity work in the country.

In a five-point policy proposal to the committee, the 35 CSOs also suggested that the committee should add leveraging of philanthropy to finance sustainable development goals (SDGs) to accelerate achievement of targets in the country.

The Executive Director of Ghana Philanthropy Forum, Dr Ben Ocra, and the Project Officer of STAR-Ghana Foundation, Feruzah Wuniche Salisu, made the call when they jointly presented the policy proposals at a meeting with the foundation and other CSOs in Accra last Monday.

The meeting, which was at the instance of the foundation and its partners, was to engage the manifesto committees of political parties separately on different dates to make the recommendations aimed at boosting philanthropy in Ghana for sustainable development. 

CSOs meeting
The 35 CSOs included the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisation, Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), Special Attention Project, ABANTU for Development, Resource Link Foundation and Volta Institute of Development Studies (VIDS).

The others included Fanthonio Foundation, Safe Child Advocacy, Girls Shall Grow, Ark Development Organisation and the Light Foundation.

The meeting was facilitated by the foundation in collaboration with the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI), the Centre for Social Policy Studies, University of Ghana and the Giving for Change Communities of Practice.

Present at the meeting were the running mate of the 2024 NDC flag bearer, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, and the Chairman of the 2024 NDC Manifesto Committee, Prof. Kwaku Danso-Boafo.

Also in attendance were some of the committee members: Sam Garba, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, Dr William Ahadzie, Dr Yakubu Alhassan, Mavis Ama Frimpong, Nana Oye Bampoe Addo and Michael Nii Abbey.

The Executive Director of STAR-Ghana, Alhaji Amidu Ibrahim-Tanko, said such meetings were crucial in consolidating the country's democracy as it gave ordinary citizens the opportunity to critically analyse manifestos of political parties.

Dr Ocra and Ms Salisu equally appealed to the NDC Manifesto Committee to revise existing policies such as the Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy) and what they described as crowdfunding policies that were unfavourable to philanthropic actors.

They recommended for inclusion in the NDC manifesto the establishment of a desk at the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) for non-profit organisations to promote transparency and accountability around tax exemption processes.

Prof. Opoku-Agyemang, for her part, stated that it was important to expand the country's economy, stressing “let us find ways of creating bigger pies in our economy, ways in which we own and grow our economy because investments from outside have agendas”.

No fiscal space
Prof. Danso-Boafo said the NDC had a longstanding relationship with CSOs and acknowledged their contributions to the development of the nation.He said the party believed in “constitutionalism and consultation,” therefore, it was organising a series of engagements with CSOs throughout the country.