The book Positioning Ghana: Challenges and Innovations has four chapters that discuss democracy and good governance, looking at the politics of inclusion and participation. The first chapter initiates a philosophical debate on what the constitutional phrase “We the people” means in democracy and governance. The others draw on empirical data to answer various aspects of this question: the tensions and absences within the state–citizen relation, the gap between the rhetoric and reality of citizen participation, and the impact of these challenges in democratic processes on the management of national resources. The consensus across these chapters is that democracy is an ideal that is yet to be realized in Ghana. There are fundamental aspects of democracy and democratic governance that are absent in the body politic, including the rights of citizens to participate in Ghana’s development project, to enjoy economic prosperity and freedom, and to have access to fundamental public goods. Enhancing the role of civil society groups in empowering citizens to claim their rights is proposed as the way forward.
Nana Araba Apt, Emerita Dean of Academic Affairs, Ashesi University College received undergraduate education in Psychology, Philosophy, and English at Queen’s University in Canada, her Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) at the University of Toronto in Canada, and her PhD in Sociology at the University of Ghana, Legon.Her academic career is backed by seven years in Ghana’s Civil Service in the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development as a research and social development officer.She taught at the University of Ghana, from lecturer level to full professorship and headed two departments: Sociology and Social Work. Prof. Apt initiated the Centre for Social Policy Studies (CSPS) at the University of Ghana and directed it for six years before leaving the University to join Ashesi in 2003. Prof. Apt has been Visiting Professor at universities in the USA, Canada, South Africa, and Uganda.Her research and publication record bridges disciplinary applications in gerontology, family relations, child development, and women’s education. Prof. Apt is a frequent consultant to many international human development organizations, including UN organisations and the African Union Commission on Social Development.