The Importance Of Systemic Inequality In Ghana

1247 Words 5 Pages
Ghana is an unusual country to utilize local transitional justice in, to undermining systemic inequality. The Akan are the ethnic majority in Ghana accounting for 31-45% of the population, depending on reports. However they are not a uniform group, containing major sub-divisions based on linguistic divides of the Kwa language. The Asante and Fante are the most prominent sub-divisions of the Akan people. Idiosyncratically, this fragmented ethnic majority has allowed the concept of the oppressed group to shift through the various political regimes: as Rawlings favored the Akan, so too did Busia favour the northerners who propelled him into power. The lack of a clear majority in Ghana allowed for different ethnicities and regions of Ghana to …show more content…
The NRC was focused “to seek and promote national reconciliation among the people of this country,” and in doing so allowed for the legitimization and recognition of diverse realities in Ghana. However, the scope of the NRC was limited to finding an objective reality behind past regime abuses, and it failed to address the underlying inequalities these regimes also propagated. The NRC noted that the period of colonial rule had contributed to the legacy of human rights abuses, but failed to link indirect rule as source of ethnic tension, as cited by Takamura as an overarching characteristic of colonialism. Chiefly, the NRC may have achieved its goals but did little to impact the local realities of Ghanaians. The Council’s findings were widely accepted, but they failed to incorporate all Ghanaians or institutionally protect non-privileged actors. The NRC heard from 2,219 victims, a mere eighth of a hundred of Ghana’s population. The selectivity of the council in its hearings and the nature of its hearings were cited as concerns!!!(CITE). Failing to establish a sufficiently thorough network of local councils, the NRC limited the representational element and effective impact of the commission on inequality. However, the NRC had important elements of legitimacy. Section 1.3.2 of the National Reconciliation Act No. 611, allowed the Commission to deal with any complaints from March 6th of …show more content…
Ghana’s Constitution prevents any prosecution of the Rawlings regime, which was largely the focus of the NRC’s report. The Constitution’s indemnity clause specifically prevents the prosecution of any members of the Rawlings regime for the crimes it committed. This indemnity clause was set out as a Transitional Provision by Rawlings in the Constitution of 1992, and subsequently was made made untouchable by the clauses preventing amendment of Transitional Provisions. A potential solution beyond retributive justice, particularly for ethnic inequalities, is large-scale institutionalization as protection: utilizing proportionality and vetoes in political systems to protect non-privileged actors. These elements, as identified by Lijphart, seek to minimize inequality by giving groups who are oppressed institutional political voices and power, holding majorities accountable and facilitating a proliferation of social services and economic opportunities. Such channels give non-majorities protection from the tyranny of the majority. Critics argue that this institutionalization leads to a concretization of divides in a country, however the protection of oppressed groups is of utmost importance. Moreover, hoping such groups will integrate into a larger society is a blatant promotion of cultural homogenization, propagating ethnic inequality.

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