I. Political Context
Ghana is a coastal state with an estimated population of 23.8 million. The presidential election in December 2008 ended in a very close run and saw the victory of opposition leader John Atta Mills. The election ‐ considered to be transparent, free and fair by the international community ‐ reinforced Ghana's image as one of the most democratic countries in West Africa. However, the discovery of oil reserves off its coast may have a negative impact on the political stability. In recent years, the country has been heavily affected by trans‐Atlantic cocaine trafficking. Taking up the topic, the government organized a high‐level conference on drugs and crime in March 2009 and sent a strong message that Ghana has a serious intention to tackle organized crime and cocaine trafficking. Between 2006 and 2008, significant drug seizures were reported.
On 24 June 2009, the Minister of the Interior and UNDOC signed a MoU for the elaboration of a National Integrated Programme for Ghana. An assessment mission conducted in March 2010 marks the beginning of the process.
II. Programme Objectives
UNODC has already been very active in the country with four major projects on 1) container control ( Global Container Control Programme); 2) trans‐Atlantic intelligence exchange (project Law Enforcement and Intelligence Cooperation against Cocaine Trafficking from Latin America to West Africa); 3) law enforcement training (CBT centre); and 4) irregular migration (project IMPACT LEN).
The launch of the assessment phase for developing the NIP was initiated in March 2010 with a UNODC expert led mission. Although it may still be too early to provide the particular objectives of Ghana's NIP, a focus on combating drugs, crime and terrorism is obvious. The time frame for implementation will be similar to other NIPs, i.e. four years.
III. Main Outputs
Taking into account current UNODC projects in the country, the activities of other bilateral aid providers, the ECOWAS Regional Action Plan to address the growing problem of illicit drug trafficking, organized crime and drug abuse in West Africa as well as the ECOWAS Political Declaration on the Prevention of drug Abuse, Illicit Drug Trafficking and Organized Crimes in West Africa, the following main elements may be drawn:
a) Awareness and Research
A victimization survey and a research on the extent of drug abuse are conducted.
b) Drug Prevention and Health
A national policy on drug abuse and HIV/AIDS prevention among (injecting) drug users is developed;
Targeted capacity building activities for health and social sector professionals are implemented;
Support is provided for interventions in the areas of drug abuse prevention for the general public, outreach services for vulnerable groups, treatment and reinsertion of drug users;
A comprehensive package of services regarding HIV/AIDS, STI, TB and Hepatitis in prison settings is provided;
Mainstreaming HIV/AIDS and drug abuse prevention into activities linked to law enforcement and justice is achieved;
Implementation of recommendations from the Regional Consultation on HIV is supported.
c) Organized Crime, Illicit Trafficking and Terrorism
Law enforcement training is further strengthened and infrastructure is improved;
NACOB capacities are strengthened;
Law enforcement patrolling capacities are improved;
Intelligence and information gathering, analysis and exchange capacities are enhanced;
A Joint Interdiction Team at the international airport is created and links with the UK‐sponsored Westbridge operation are established;
The Financial Intelligence Unit's (FIU) capacities are strengthened and all relevant actors are sensitized to AML and CFT;
The national legislative framework (terrorism, drug trafficking, migrant smuggling, corruption, etc.) is revised and put in accordance with international commitments taken by the country. Advocacy for the ratification and implementation of other relevant international conventions and protocols is also conducted.
d) Justice and Integrity
Specialized training to practitioners is delivered and syllabuses are reviewed;
Support to the Anti‐Corruption Agency (ACA) is provided and the country takes part in the UNCAC review mechanism;
Support to comprehensive criminal justice reform is provided;
Support for an effective international cooperation in criminal matters is provided;
A witness protection and victim assistance programme is put in place;
The penitentiary system has undergone reform and applies international standards;
Support to juvenile justice reform is provided.
Mitigation and Risk Factors:
The main risks relate to political commitment and operational engagement. Since technical assistance programmes require the full commitment of the beneficiary agency(ies), lack of engagement and political will could jeopardize the results sought.
IV. Monitoring and Evaluation
Similar to other NIPs, the programme is likely to include a Steering Committee comprising all the main direct beneficiaries, UNODC and the donors, that will monitor and prioritize interventions at the operational level. The Committee would meet at least on a quarterly basis. Once a year, a high‐level segment meeting comprised of ministerial counterparts would review past activities, validate annual work plans and receive a report on the impact of past measures. At mid‐term and at the end of the NIP, evaluations will be conducted by external experts following modalities jointly agreed upon by the national authorities, UNODC and the donors.