Ms. Virginia Elliott, the Public Affairs Counsellor and Acting Deputy US Ambassador to Ghana has urged Ghanaian youth to work hard to sustain the peace and democracy of the country.
Speaking at the opening session of a two-day capacity building workshop on peace, democracy and good governance for youth, Ms. Elliot, said good governance and transparency were the antidote to corruption.
The workshop was organized by the West Africa Centre for Counter-Extremism (WACCE) in Tamale with support from the US Embassy in Accra aimed at promoting and sharing best practices in good governance, peace, human rights and democratic principles between Ghana and the United States.
It is part of series of workshops and fora to be held in Accra, Bolga and Tamale to build the capacity of 300 people to serve as agents for democracy and to help deepen and sustain democratic values and principles.
Ms Elliot also emphasized the importance of protecting the peace and democratic gains of Ghana, as a regional leader, adding that, ‘‘Ghana is a leader for peace, stability and democracy (in the West African sub-region). Our hope is that you continue to choose peace and follow the best interest of your community and country.
“Your efforts today will make a difference in Ghana’s future. A peaceful and prosperous Ghana is good for the United States as well, and we are proud to stand alongside your efforts to nurture democracy and peace, one community at a time’’.
She urged the youth to channel their energy, intellect and sense of service towards strengthening their communities, holding their leaders accountable, and ensuring the protection of human rights for all.
Mr Mutaru Mumuni Muqthar, the Executive Director for the WACCE, underscored the role of young people in sustaining democracy and its values adding that recent events in the West Africa region, particularly in Mali and Guinea questioned faith in democracy, and the aspirations of young people.
Mr Muqthar explained that while democracy had all its imperfections, it remained the best legitimate option and challenged leaders to make people the focus of leadership. ‘‘Democracy cannot guarantee development and prosperity if the focus of leadership is on power and not the people’’.
He encouraged the youth to play an active role in their community’s development and progress as well as holding their leaders accountable.
The remaining workshops will be held in Bolgatanga and Accra later this month.