In our contemporary world, development has become one of the tools to measure a country’s progress. Development is multifaceted in areas of Economics, Social relationship, Ecosystem, and Human Index and Technology which work hand-in-hand to influence the progress of a particular country without endangering the environment.
Based on the three principles of development thus; freedom of servitude, sustenance and high esteem have seen the overview of development in Ghana rapidly changing economic scenes, the political attitude, social values, structures, cultural patterns, development in information technology which have changed not only lifestyles in urban and rural areas but also their cumulative impact introduces an element of uncertainty in the possible development in all sectors. One indicator that propels development in any country is peace and security, especially human security. Despite the numerous effects of peace and security threats on individuals, societies and states, challenges of peace and security are still not addressed, taking into account what is happing currently in Ghana. This write up seeks to make references to the world of peace and security threats in these present times and the future.
Security, on one hand, is defined as economic strength, internal cohesion, technological ability, good governance, national cohesion and strong nationalism. It also includes the protection of lives and properties. Peace, on the other hand, is defined as the absence of violence and conflict. The core values of human security are freedom from fear and freedom from wants. From many narratives, one would attest to the fact that insecurity was/is a result of conflict or violence at levels of the social structure of which these threats are impediments to development.
Decades ago, many peace and security threats have triggered enormous effects on humanity such as loss of life, loss of properties, mass destructions and breaking bonds between families and friends. Now, the state of human security and peace threats have taken another dimension in all spheres of human endeavours such as corruption, pandemics, organized crime, bad governance just to mention a few on the states. On the individuals’ level, peace and security threats are poverty, underemployment /unemployment, outbreaks of diseases and minimal socialization of peace and security threats. Another on chieftaincy disputes, illiteracy, political exclusions and the proliferation of small weapons and light weapons on the societies but the most critical ones are the challenges of peace and security to the individuals, societies and states.
To begin with, peace and security threats to development is as a result of lack of trust or confidence of the general public where most people, state agencies and societies do not have confidence in the system of operations of security and peace agencies to safeguard their protection, hence take the law into their own hands to cause harm of which the Minister for Development Initiative did recently in the name of ‘self-defence’. Again, there is an absence of cooperation between the security agencies and the general public in the sense that there are no free flow of information’s from the general public to the security agencies and the reverse, therefore making peace and security a threat to development.
Moreover, peace and security threats happen because of the inadequacy of proper identification system in Ghana in the sense that many people in the country are non-Ghanaians which they engage in notorious activities citing examples of the shooting incidents that happened some time ago, the recent cases of armed robbery in Kasoa and the “mighty” kidnapping issue of the Takoradi girls serve as a threat to peace and security because there is no system to identify the culprits in order to persecute them.
Lastly, the collaboration among security agencies is weak due to supremacy, corruption, competition, and superiority nature of our state agencies normally called ‘the rat race’. The above points derail the development due to the sensitive arrays of peace and security everyone is entitled to.
These challenges are allowed so that peace and security threat will be reduced to accelerate sustainable development. To solve these challenges, the following suggestions will be needful thus; cybersecurity should be introduced and taught in schools, the implementation of the role of the media on peace and security issues should be heightened and well delivered, individuals should be socialized about the dos and don’ts of peace and security and the dangers it brings on them when growing up. Again, our State institutions responsible for security and peace operations must be strengthened, resourced and autonomous to discharge their duties. People in academia should be proactive in governance and lastly, the traditional institutions in aiding peace in the society must be up and doing. With these suggestions, peace and security that will retrogress development will be minimized.
Kweku Opare Asante (F_M)