The Role of Religious Institutions in Governance in Africa: The Case of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference

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dc.contributor.advisor Awedoba, A
dc.contributor.advisor Acheampong, S. Saa-Dade, E.P.
dc.contributor.other University of Ghana, College of Humanities, Institute of African Studies 2016-09-20T14:58:24Z 2017-10-14T02:45:14Z 2016-09-20T14:58:24Z 2017-10-14T02:45:14Z 2015-07
dc.description Thesis(MPhil) - University of Ghana, 2015
dc.description.abstract The focus of the study is to examine the role of religious institutions in governance in Africa using as a case study the Ghana Catholic Bishops‘ Conference and its interventions on governance issues in Ghana since the inauguration of the Fourth Republic. In all 35 documents were carefully examined. The documents include Communiqués, Pastoral letters, Joint statements and other special messages found in the archives of the GCBC at the National Catholic Secretariat in Accra. Each document was studied and its content analysed and then classified. To get the opinion of the general public on the activities of the GCBC in relations to governance issues in the country a survey of 60 respondents comprising 30 Catholics and 30 Non-Catholics, using the quota sampling method was undertaken. The survey instrument was questionnaire. The occupational, educational and age distribution of respondents were diverse, with a gender equation of 55.9% to 44.1% of male to female. The results of the study show that the GCBC has been very active in issues concerning governance in its interventions and pronouncements. Apart from health and education in which the Catholic Church in Ghana is a traditional stakeholder, top governance issues that got the attention of the GCBC are issues of peace and security, economic and neopatrimonialism, bribery and corruption, the environment, and ethnic harmony in descending order. Also the findings from the documents of the GCBC show that the GCBC was consistent in its interventions irrespective of the political party in power, thus showing no political preference or bias. Furthermore, the study found out that the primary method employed by the GCBC is denunciation and appeal to individual and collective conscience. In more recent times, however, the GCBC has moved from general denunciation to tackling specific cases and advocating alternative solutions. A key part of the GCBC actions is its use of experts in its work and its desire to work in partnership with other religious bodies, professional associations and the government in seeking ways of improving governance in the country and bettering the living conditions of citizens. It also sees its public role as part and parcel of its religious mandate. When it comes to public opinion, the findings show that there was little or no difference between Catholic and Non-Catholic respondents. Generally the public, irrespective of religious belief, has a very positive image of the Catholic Church. It rates very favourably, the contribution of the Catholic Church to the nation‘s development, especially in the areas of education and health. GCBC enjoyed similar ratings in its interventions in governance issues such as the fight against corruption, promotion of peace and security and ethnic harmony, though a sizeable proportion of respondents will like to see an improvement in its efforts in the fight against corruption. Also, very few do have access to pronouncements and communiqués of the GCBC, and as such are not really informed of the propositions of the Conference. Furthermore, majority of respondents could not vouch for the neutrality of the GCBC in terms of its political affiliation. Consequently, among the recommendations made include the need for the GCBC to do more in its public relation and diffusion of its activities through the effective use of the mass media. Networking with other religious groups and professional associations was also proposed. It was also suggested that the GCBC should examine its follow-up strategies to concrete actions it undertakes in the interest of the general public. Moreover, it was proposed that it should involve more of its followers in its actions and maximise its organisation strength, large membership and powerful influence in the Ghanaian society. It is hoped that these recommendations will be of help to the GCBC in its effort to impact positively on governance in the country, and thus improve the living condition of ordinary Ghanaians. en_US
dc.format.extent xiv, 151p; ill
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher University of Ghana en_US
dc.subject Governance en_US
dc.subject Catholic Bishops en_US
dc.subject Ghana en_US
dc.title The Role of Religious Institutions in Governance in Africa: The Case of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.rights.holder University of Ghana

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