Ghana is a leader for peace and democracy, protect it – Deputy US Ambassador

Ghana is a leader for peace and democracy, protect it – Deputy US Ambassador

Public Affairs Counsellor and Acting Deputy US Ambassador to Ghana, Virginia Elliot, has urged Ghanaian youth to work hard to sustain the peace and democracy of the country.

Speaking at the opening session of a two-day capacity building workshop on peace, democracy, and good governance for youth, Ms Elliot indicated that good governance and transparency were the antidotes to corruption.

The workshop was organised by the West Africa Centre for Counter-Extremism (WACCE) in Tamale with support from the US Embassy in Accra.

The workshop was aimed at promoting and sharing best practices in good governance, peace, human rights and democratic principles between Ghana and the United States.

It is part of series of workshops and forums to be held in Accra, Bolga and Tamale and intended at building the capacity of 300 young people to serve as effective agents for democracy and to help deepen and sustain democratic values and principles.

She said corruption can fuel inequality and insecurity where people’s needs were not being met and established the relationship between good governance and security.

Ms Elliot also emphasised the importance of protecting the peace and democratic gains of Ghana, as a regional leader, adding that, ‘‘Ghana is a leader for peace, stability and democracy (in the West African sub-region).

“Our hope is that you continue to choose peace and follow the best interest of your community and country. Your efforts today will make a difference in Ghana’s future. A peaceful and prosperous Ghana is good for the United States as well, and we are proud to stand alongside your efforts to nurture democracy and peace, one community at a time.”

She urged the youth to channel their energy, intellect, and sense of service towards strengthening their communities, holding their leaders accountable, and ensuring the protection of human rights for all.

Mutaru Mumuni Muqthar, the Executive Director for the WACCE, underscored the role of young people in sustaining democracy and its values.

He indicated that recent events in the West Africa region, particularly in Mali and Guinea have questioned our faith in democracy, and its capacity to secure the aspirations of young people.

Mr Muqthar explained that whilst democracy has all its imperfections, it remains the best legitimate option and challenged leaders to make people the focus of leadership.

“Democracy can not guarantee development and prosperity if the focus of leadership is on power and not the people.”

He encouraged the youth to play an active role in their community’s development and progress as well as holding their leaders accountable.

The remaining workshops will be held in Bolgatanga and Accra later this month.

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