Ghana is described as a beacon of hope for Africa because of its democratic gains over the years. The country has enjoyed relative peace since returning to multi-party democracy in 1992, organizing seven successful elections that have seen the peaceful transfer of power between political parties.
As Ghana prepares for the 2020 general elections, consolidating these gains has become even more critical. As a result, the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is reviving the Inter-Party Dialogue Committees (IPDCs) in ten regions of Ghana and has inaugurated new ones in the six newly created regions.
Speaking at the formation, inauguration and training of the Savannah regional IPDC in Damongo, the Deputy Regional Minister for Savannah Region, Hon. Samuel Yiyu Tika underscored the importance of dialogue in promoting peace and described the inauguration of the IPDC as timely as Ghana goes into the 2020 general elections.
‘’We have accepted democracy as our system of governance and so must we work to preserve it. As we approach election 2020, continues dialogue, especially among us the politicians, is the surest way to consolidate Ghana’s democracy’’, he noted.
Hon. Yiyu Tika also challenged political leaders at all levels to set a good example for their masses to follow by putting the interest of the nation above political party interest. He charged politicians to be decorum in their language to ensure peace at all levels.
On his part, Mr. Issaka Zitor, the acting Regional NCCE Director of Savanah Region indicated that, despite efforts to have an effective electoral management system to avoid electoral irregularities, dialogue was still critical in mitigating and managing perception of irregularities and mistrust that has the potential to create violence.
Mr. Issaka Zitor noted that, sustaining Ghana’s democratic successes requires the active collaborations of all stakeholders at both the national and grassroots levels.
‘’To ensure peaceful electoral processes, a multiplicity of institutions, structures and individuals must work diligently through constant dialogue to reduce the tension that is associated with elections at all levels’’, he emphasized.
The Inter-Party Dialogue Committees (IPDCs) were formed in all regions and districts in 2012 by the NCCE to engage political party activists and to provide a platform for information sharing and understanding to reduce tension and promote tolerance and healthy electoral activities.
They are made up of representatives of registered political parties, Faith Based Organizations, Civil Society/ Community Based Organizations, Independent Governance Institutions, Security Services, Peace Council and Persons with Disability (PWDs).