THE GHANA Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) on Wednesday explained that what appeared to be a frosty relationship between it and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has given way to fruitful cooperation.
Prof E. Gyimah-Boadi, CDD Executive Director disclosed this in an answer to a question from a journalist during an interactive session in commemoration of the think-tank's 10th anniversary.
Such frosty developments, he noted, are often exaggerated by the media, and explained that even President John Agyekum Kufuor once charged the CDD over its position on the corruption level in the country.
President Kufuor, he recalled, accused the think-tank of being peddlers of perception in reaction to the corruption charge.
To buttress his claim of an improved relationship between the CDD and the NDC, Prof Gyimah-Boadi stated that the former has written a cover letter on the code of conduct to the minority in Parliament, adding that the two have been working in a number of areas in parliamentary work.
The CDD, in commemoration of its decade of establishment, has catalogued a number of activities spread over the next four months.
Wednesday's interaction with the media, as part of the commemoration, gave the think-tank an opportunity to field important and “difficult questions,” as Prof. Gyimah Boadi put it.
When he was for instance asked to differentiate between an individual member's position on a subject and that of the institute, he had this to say: “the CDD's positions are included in its publication, Democracy Watch”. He asked that the positions of individual members of the think-tank should not be confused with that of the establishment.
He had earlier saluted the Ghanaian media which he described as an important component of the political development of every democratic society.
CDD, he said, shares the Ghanaian media's passion in getting the public informed about government activities and programmes.
“We applaud the media for the role it has been playing in Ghana's 4th Republic in informing public debate, keeping watch over the governance process and ensuring that the voice of ordinary Ghanaians are heard,” he said in his speech.
He acknowledged what he regarded as a special relationship between the Centre and the media in the promotion of democracy and good governance, adding that “we see this as a fine opportunity to recognize and thank the media for its immense contribution to the Centre's growth and success so far”.
In a response to the remarks, Mr. Afail Monney of the Ghana Journalists' Association (GJA) acknowledged the role of the CDD in the democratic development of the country, describing it as a pillar of democratic growth.
He described as a disease what he said is the all-knowing attitude of some media persons in the country, saying however that “it is good the CDD is around to cure the ailment”.
The role of the media, he said, is to disseminate but not to pretend to know everything. The media, he noted, is under pressure as the country approaches another polls, but advised though that practitioners should let objectivity be their hallmarks.
The function was attended by some governing board members of the think-tank like Mrs. Angelina Domakyaareh, Mr. Seth Dei and Mr. Kwabena Addison.
The CDD was established in 1998 as an independent non-governmental and non-partisan think-tank to promote democracy in Ghana.
In the 10 years of its establishment, it has carved a name for itself by becoming an important feature on the political terrain.
It indulges in the observation of polls and undertakes advocacy activities among other things, and has occasionally incurred the wrath of politicians on both sides of the political divide.
By A.R. Gomda