Professor Samuel Agyei-Mensah, the Provost of College of Humanities, University of Ghana, said Ghana needed to “imbibe an ideology of inclusive nationalism” to eliminate inter-ethnic clashes.
He said the country must also ensure “diffusion of power, generational sacrifice, frugal leadership and eschew glaring nepotism” to forestall the growing violence and strife, which were impeding the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Prof. Agyei-Mensah said this at the 2017 National Conference of the Ghana Geographical Association (GGA) in Ho on the theme: “Promoting Peaceful and Inclusive Society for Sustainable Development Goals: Reflecting on Space and Time.”
He said with the recent exploits of social media and instant connectivity, ideas and violence were easily dispersed, and advised that efforts at peace must not be ignored until dire moments. Prof. Agyei-Mensah said the loss of lives and the destruction of property created insecurity, disrupted rural life and eventually obstructed national integration, for which reason root causes of conflicts ought to be addressed in time before they escalated.
He said: “Early action to address the root causes of crisis such as social inequality or low access to justice and security is key to preventing brewing tensions from escalating into full-blown conflict.”
Professor Martin Oteng-Ababio, the National President of GGA, said conflicts impacted negatively on the local economy and appealed to stakeholders to help end pockets of violence across the country.
He said the conference was centered on Goal 16 of the SDGs- (Promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels).
Prof. Oteng-Ababio said as geographers and researchers, the Association felt the need to ensure peace prevailed to enhance development.
Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa, the Volta Regional Minister, said despite the importance of Geography, students kept shying away from the subject and called on the GGA to revive students’ interest in it.