The Canadian High Commission in Accra has lauded the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP)-Ghana for its commitment and hard work towards ensuring the success of another milestone democratic process in Ghana.
Mr Pasquale Salvaggio, Counsellor, Political and Public Affairs, High Commission of Canada in Accra, encouraged WANEP-Ghana to continue its good work and further wished the organisation success throughout its project implementation.
The Counsellor gave the commendation at the launched of the “Strengthening Early Warning and Conflicts Response During Ghana Elections” Project and Project Inception Meeting with National Leadership of Political Parties and Stakeholders in Accra.
The project is particularly designed to strengthen the WANEP National Early Warning Systems (NEWS) and also aimed at enhancing the capacity of civil society and relevant state institutions to promote human security, conflict prevention and peacebuilding.
It is being funded by the Government of Canada under the Canada Fund for Local Initiative (CFLI).
Mr Salvaggio said the CFLI supports small-scale but high-impact projects, conceived and designed predominantly by local partners and focused on themes including human rights, inclusive governance and democracy.
“We are very pleased to be supporting this project, which is one of five CFLI projects focused on promoting inclusive participation and peaceful elections,” he stated.
“The projects in Ghana are being implemented in various areas, particularly those that have registered low electoral participation by vulnerable and marginalized groups especially women and people living with disabilities.”
He said supporting peaceful pluralism was an objective of this project as was increasing the voices of traditionally vulnerable citizens, including women’s voices.
Mr Salvaggio said Ghana over the years had positioned herself as the beacon of democracy in Africa; declaring that “the world is looking to Ghana to maintain this status and to continue to run elections that are inclusive, peaceful, free and fair”.
He said a significant part of these electoral successes could be largely attributed to the active participation and vigilance of the citizenry and key stakeholders of which political parties were a significant part.
He said, he believed, that the Project Inception Meeting with National Leadership of Political Parties and Stakeholders’ deliberations and the rest of the project activities would greatly contribute to ensuring peaceful and inclusive elections in the project locations – Volta, Western, Brong-Ahafo and Ashanti Regions – and generally across Ghana.
Mr Albert Yelyang, National Network Coordinator, WANEP, said the project launch was a key assignment towards proactiveness in preventing violence in an election that would probably be yet one of the most competitive in the fourth republic.
He said the project aimed at making sure that they were conscious of identifying the threats, conducting analysis, providing warning through reporting on the election related dynamics, and responding to the warnings before they degenerated further.
Mr Vincent Azumah, West Africa Regional Coordinator, Research, Monitoring and Evaluation, WANEP, said it was their joy at WANEP when partners such as the Canadian High Commission team up with them and other peace-loving institutions to work towards ensuring peace during Ghana’s election 2020.
“What is more refreshing to note is that, our Canadian partners believe in the fact that we cannot wait until few weeks to election to commence working for peaceful elections. Peacebuilding is not an event; it is a process.
That is why we at WANEP have designed our Early Warning and Response system that supports Ghana and the West Africa region through the ECOWAS early warning system, ECOWARN and Africa through the AU’s African Reporter.”