Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Manager at STAR Ghana, Frank Kwaku Amoateng has disclosed that the foundation is working hard to strengthen civil society and allow citizens to connect with the state in ensuring a peaceful, credible and an all inclusive governance at all levels.
According to him, STAR Ghana Foundation is seeking to support variety of citizens’ actions and proposals towards achieving a free and fair Presidential and Parliamentary Election in 2020.
Speaking at an awareness programme organized by STAR Ghana Foundation in Accra, Mr. Amoateng said “The essence of this information session is that for every core Star Ghana will do, we have to let people understand what the objectives are and what they have to go through before they apply for it. This is an Election Core and in Accra, we have a track record for the past three general elections that for every election, we will put out a core and people will apply then we will weigh and know the ones to work with.”
He further added that the Foundation is consequently issuing a Call for Proposals from interested and eligible organisations, including NGOs, CSO coalitions and alliances, citizen groups, media coalitions among others to reach these objectives.
“So this session today was to provide people with the necessary information that every Civil Society Organizations (CSO) will require and based on that they will apply and we will shortlist. Fortunate for us, we had good numbers because they came from all the regions so there is comfort because there is diversity in the people who applied. Some people will come with different focus and the couple of objectives for the core,” he revealed
The Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Manager added the foundation is looking at the core where everyone will participate in electoral processes called inclusion.
He said “A core that will look at peace, we are looking at some core that will look at vigilantism because you know that this has been one of the cores that we have battled within the previous cores so what project can we put in place that can address some of these abnormalities in our electoral process so that come election 2020, we will have a peaceful, credible and an all inclusive campaign for the election.”
STAR Ghana Foundation’s overall aim of the Elections 2020 Call is to increase the effectiveness of citizens’ actions for credible, peaceful and inclusive presidential and parliamentary elections. The focus will be on supporting joint citizens’ actions, at all levels of governance, including innovative alliances and collaborations between different sections of civil society to achieve traction and results across the elections value chain.
The Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Manager further disclosed that the foundation has empowered many Ghanaians through its last three cores organised.
"The previous core that we did, there was the component of voters education, component to ensure that people will vote based on issues and not personalities, there were also components of security. In Bawku, we are implementing a project that made us bring together the ethnic groups. The reason was for them to work together. There was a school of thought that there are a lot of violence there but we wanted to bridge that gap to ensure there wont be security challenges in the upcoming elections,” he emphasised.
Mr. Kwaku Amoateng stressed that in 2020, Star Ghana believes through its capacity built overtime, it will help many civil society organizations to ensure a credible and an all inclusive campaign.
“One critical challenge is, since we want to create diversity, we have informal and formal groups coming. We have civil society organizations who have both good and average capacity but since it is an inclusion project, we will bring everyone on board but how do we ensure that we are supporting and hand holding the ones with the average capacity such that they will have to contribute their quota to electoral processes? We cant just concentrate on strategic partners and leave them behind,” he intimated.
Citizens will be mobilized at local and national levels then made to engage effectively with relevant stakeholders towards addressing the issues of vigilantism and other election-related conflicts. Such conflicts include; increased responsiveness of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) to the issues, needs and concerns of excluded social groups (particularly persons with disability, women, young people and hard-to-reach communities) around their effective participation in all stages of the elections ‘value chain’.