FOSDA lauds establishment of National Peace Fund

Foundation for Security and Development in African (FOSDA)
Foundation for Security and Development in African (FOSDA)

The Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA), a regional civil society organisation, has lauded the establishment of the National Peace Fund.

A statement issued by Mrs Theodora W. Anti, Programmes Manager, FOSDA, copied to the Ghana News Agency, said after 15 years of the existence of the National Peace Council (NPC) and 10 years since the passage of the National Peace Council Act 2011(Act 818), Ghana had finally launched a Peace Fund.

It recalled that the historic ‘Peace Fund’, which was launched on 15th October 2021 by Mr Dominic Nitiwul, the Defence Minister, on behalf of the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, was in fulfilment of section 20 of Act 818.

“This ‘Fund’ comes at a time when security issues have become priority to many states in West Africa and to ECOWAS,” it said.

It noted that most West African states were either currently engulfed in a war against vigilantism and terrorism or facing imminent threats of same of which Ghana was not left out.

It said others were grappling with coup d’états and other internal conflicts.

“Ghana is internationally acclaimed as a beacon of peace in the sub-region and in Africa as a whole,” the statement said.

“However, the country has its share of conflicts to deal with across the country including chieftaincy, ethnic, land and other resource disputes which erupts every now and then to prompt stakeholder to sit up.”

The statement intimated that in recent times, Ghana had borne the pain of dealing with Succession attempts; the Homeland Study Group Foundation (HSGF), the Western Togoland Restoration Front (WTRF) Issues of political party vigilantism rising crime fueled by youth unemployment as well as rise in transnational crime including illegal arms trade, continue to threaten the peace and security of the country.

It said the “face of these growing threats and modern security dynamics, Ghana must adopt a structural and systemic peace-building approach, also referred to as a human security approach to peace and security, and the Peace Fund in a crucial component of this strategy.”

It said Ghana’s peace remained threatened with the shift of terrorist activities moving towards the Sahel region.

The statement said with average level of global peacefulness deteriorating by 0.07 per cent, Ghana currently ranked 38 out of 163 on the Global Peace Index, 2021 with a score of 1.715, moving two paces upwards.

It said Ghana’s Peace Council had been instrumental in achieving this feat.

It said nevertheless, this impressive result means, more work was needed to continue safeguarding the Peace of the country in a volatile region.

The statement said the ‘Fund’ which sought to resource the Council to manage, and resolve conflict and to build sustainable peace must be added to the priority list of government in the upcoming budget if indeed the focus was to pre-empt any attempt to destabilize peace in Ghana.

“It is certainly nice to applaud this move but more importantly is the critical step in sustaining the gains chalked on Peace and Security,” it stated.

“Government of Ghana must show commitment from the policy angle to the fund and to the National Peace Council going forward.”

It said the Government should not be the erratic as with this ‘fund’; saying, “We urge government to take lessons and best practice from success stories such as Heritage and Stabilization Funds”.

It noted that the
Peace Council had previously suffered from inadequate resourcing, making it difficult to ensure sustainable peace in the country.

The statement said the fund would make available to the Council much needed resources to deliver on its mandate.

It said Section 21 of Act 818 listed the sources of the ‘Peace Fund’ contributions from Government, Local, private, public and international organisations and contributions from foreign governments.

It urged the Government and other stakeholders to take interest in contributing to the fund, adding that this must be complimented with judicious use of the funds allocated or donated with a built-in transparent and accountable regime to build trust with Ghanaians and advance the cause of peace in Ghana.

It called for the strategic application of the fund to prevent, manage and resolve conflict and build sustainable peace in Ghana which must focus not only on critical domestic issues such as succession attempts, kidnapping and youth unemployment but also violent demonstration, farmer-herder conflicts, illegal mining, land and chieftaincy disputes, violent communication through the mainstream and social media as well as the proliferation of arms.

It urged the NPC to deepen its research on peace and security issues in Ghana to help inform policies and the design of programmes especially related to extremism and terrorism to foster and deepen Ghana’s Peace

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