March was a very exciting time for NITA as we had the opportunity to work with the Ghana Judicial Training Institute for two public service programs. The first program took place March 11 - 12 in the city of Accra, followed by program number two in the city of Kumasi, March 14 - 15. Throughout the course of these two programs, NITA trained approximately 160 Justices of the High Court, Circuit Court, and Magistrates. The program was led by NITA Program Director, Judge Ann Williams (pictured first row, second from the left).
Among the NITA faculty who attended the program was NITA Board Member, Susan Burke (pictured first row, second from the right). This was Burke's first trip to Africa and she found her experience to be extremely rewarding. "NITA was an insturment for positive change for the entire country of Ghana's justice system." Susan said the program created time for judges in Ghana who are overwhelmed and extremely busy. The program was an opportunity for them to evaluate the criminal and civil justice systems for effectiveness and efficiency.
"Three Supreme Court Justices sat down for dinner so we could all share ideas and be a voice for change," stated Burke. "It was great to share with others and spark a discussion with leaders who could take on a concrete action plan."
Similarly, Judge Margo Brodie (pictured third row, third from the right) who was also in attendance as a NITA faculty member, stated, "Having the opportunity to have dinner with the Chief Justice at the end of the programs was particularly helpful as Judge Williams was able to not only give her feedback on the programs, but also suggest additional training programs for the future." Brodie felt the programs were great and that the participants expressed their goals at the beginning of each program and were able to give a list of things at the end that they plan to do moving forward in order to better manage their cases. "The system within which they perform their duties is challenging," stated Brodie, "but the programs nevertheless provided them with sufficient information and practical tips that they can put to use now."
Furthermore, according to NITA's Director of Programs, Michelle Rogness (pictured back row, first from the left), who was also in attendance, the U.S. Ambassador, Stephanie Sullivan (pictured first row, third from left), hosted a reception for the entire Accra group while USAID Director and Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, Sharon Cromer (pictured first row, first on the left) , hosted a Sunday brunch.
NITA is thankful for the oppportunity to spread our method of "learning-by-doing" across the world. A huge thank you to Judge Williams and the Ghana Judicial Training Institute for making these programs in Ghana possible.