Access, Accountability and Equality
Alisa Hotel, Accra, Ghana
22-23 July 2011
Over the last few decades, African countries have undergone monumental changes across political, economic, and social dimensions. Many countries have democratized and adopted market principles. Many have made enormous strides in reducing infant mortality, combating malaria, recognizing the rights of women, and improving educational opportunities. Yet many challenges remain. Few African countries are on target to meet the 2015 Millennium Development Goals established by the United Nations. Significant populations lack access to health services, quality education, or gainful employment, and socio-economic inequalities have risen in many countries. Opportunities for African citizens to hold governments accountable for their actions, or to participate meaningfully in politics, remain elusive.
This conference critically evaluated development targets and investigated the abiding inter-sectoral challenges of democratic accountability, equality, and access to health and other social services in Ghana, South Africa, and neighboring countries in the region. The conference panels highlighted data-driven papers, providing original research based on the analyses of recent surveys, as well as reflection on the quality and comprehensiveness of data sources in the region. Keynote speakers included Professor Ernest Aryeetey, a noted economist and the Vice- Chancellor of the University of Ghana and Professor Murray Leibbrandt, Director of the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit.
Conference Host Institute
The host institute for the conference was ISSER, the Institute for Social Science and Economics Research, a leading demographic and economic think-tank at the University of Ghana-Legon.