Danquah Institute which was established in January, 2008 is named after Dr. Joseph Boakye Danquah (21 December 1895 – 4 February 1965), one of Ghana’s founding fathers who established Ghana’s first political party, the United Gold Coast Convention, in 1947. In addition to his political activities, Dr. Danquah was a noted lawyer, philosopher, scholar, journalist and theologian.
Individual freedoms is at the heart of the institute’s philosophy and like Dr. Danquah, we seek to make a courageous, imaginative and constructive contribution to nation-building and development, with the purpose of enhancing the life of every individual citizen. We do these through our advocacies, research, lectures, seminars and other forums as may be applicable. We believe the laws of the land and government should be dedicated to the growth of a property-owning democracy in order to enrich the life, property and liberty of each and every citizen. We also seek to deepen and encourage intellectual discourse in Ghana’s politics.
The institute has a governing board that helps to shape its direction. This board is made up of seasoned scholars, politicians, professionals, business persons and governance experts with many years of experience. Some of the governing board members are ken Ofori-Atta, Professor Mike Oquaye (former member and deputy speaker of parliament), Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh (MP), and Rev. Dr. Asante Antwi.
The flagship event of the institute is its annual ‘Liberty Lectures’, which has had former President John Kufuor, Nana Akufo-Addo and lately Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu (Minority Leader) address. The institute decides on a relevant or topical issue for the year and selects a speaker to address such.
Danquah Institute through its advocacy for improving Ghana’s electoral processes organized a stakeholder’s conference in 2010 involving the EC, Government, Political Parties and French technology giants SAGEM with funding from the World Bank Pushing for the adoption of the Indian model of electronic voting. Though it fell short of this objective, it still secured the EC to agree to a biometric registration and verification for subsequent elections which is a vast improvement over the previous system it used.
The institute again in its study and criticism of parliamentary weakness especially as it relates to studying and approving loan agreements detected a deficit in value for money and due diligence considerations in a US$10 billion housing deal with South Korean based STX. Subsequently, the institute organized a forum of the local building industry including the institute of architects, engineers, Built Research Institute and GREDA as well as CSO’s like IMANI to evaluate the deal. Through persistent advocacy, public pressure was brought to bear on government to abrogate the deal after it became unpopular. We believe the DI can provide huge research assistance to parliament to enable it do proper scrutiny of all loan agreements that come to the house.
The DI led in advocacy to the Chief Justice to allow for live television and radio coverage of the 2012 election petition at the Supreme Court which was granted after initial resistance. We believe the live broadcast helped the public to follow through the proceedings and final ruling and reduced earlier heightened tensions.
Towards the 2008 and 2012 Presidential elections in Ghana, the institute provided research and policy assistance to the campaigns of the New Patriotic Party and its Presidential candidates. It continues to provide such resource to the compilation of the 2016 NPP election manifesto.