African Journal of
Political Science and International Relations

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pol. Sci. Int. Relat.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0832
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPSIR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 389


Disseminating the national reconciliation commission report: A critical step in Ghana’s democratic consolidation

Felix Odartey-Wellington
  • Felix Odartey-Wellington
  • Department of Communication, Cape Breton University, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Google Scholar
Amin Alhassan
  • Amin Alhassan
  • Department of Communication, Innovation and Technology, University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 21 December 2015
  •  Accepted: 17 March 2016
  •  Published: 30 April 2016


Truth and reconciliation commissions (TRCs) as transitional justice and conflict resolution mechanisms, have gained international prominence, especially following South Africa’s much publicised TRC experience. Among other things, TRCs are expected to contribute to democratic consolidation by correcting the historical narrative, acknowledging past human rights violations and fostering a human rights culture in nascent democracies. This was the spirit in which Ghana’s National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) executed its mandate from 2002 to 2004.  However, a decade after the commission issued its final report, this article reflects on the failure of the Ghanaian state to disseminate the report. It is argued that the failure to disseminate the NRC Report could jeopardise the commission’s potential contributions to sustainable reconciliation, human rights and democracy in Ghana. This article accounts for the failure to disseminate the report, and makes corrective recommendations as well as suggestions for future research.


Key words: Transitional justice, human rights, Ghana, national reconciliation commission, truth and reconciliation commissions, authoritarian enclaves.