The Peace Council has held a capacity building workshop on the use of non-violent mechanisms to address elections related issues.
Participants were equipped with skills in conflict prevention, management and resolution to better manage conflicts whenever it arises.
In a short address on Thursday at Prampram, the Executive Secretary of the Peace Council said, “Ghana is a good country; we have very brilliant people God has blessed us with.
All that we need to do is to create the enabling environment for development to take place and that will not happen when we have conflict all the time.”
Mr. George Amo indicated that the Global Peace Index rated Ghana the most peaceful country in West Africa.
“We are the fourth in Africa but Ghana has the potential to become the first in Africa and to make peace one of the commodities to export to other countries,”he said.
Mr. Amo informed that there were trouble spots across the African continent and so “why can’t we ask some of you to go and help improve the peace situation in those countries and bring in foreign exchange.”
He added that “Its important we take peace very seriously and make it one of the commodity Ghana can jealously preserve. Let us gear ourselves for a cooperative problem solving and God will bless our country.”
The Chairman for the occasion, Mr. Eugene Martey Charwey, in an opening remark, said this is an election year so there was the need for Ghanaians to ensure that “there is a calm atmosphere before, during and after the elections.”
Mr. Charwey observed that hosting the conference in Prampram was an opportunity for the locals to learn skills of resolving conflicts and help maintain peace in Prampram.
The facilitator of the programme, Mrs. Dora Siaw-Lartey, said, “Conflict is dynamic; it lives with us everyday and so when it happens we need skills to manage it.”
Mrs. Siaw-Lartey observed that the need to manage conflicts was necessary “because when you know something and you don’t remind yourself of it you turn to forget it, so this is like a refresher course to share experiences and remind ourselves of the dangers of escalating conflicts in society.”
In reference to the forth coming elections, she indicated that “Elections are not just about the day of voting, its about activities we implement prior to the voting date. So how we conduct ourselves, how we communicate and relate with each other, especially the two major political parties, will determine how peaceful the elections would be.”
A participant, Reverend Lawrence Amartey, Methodist Church, Prampram, observed that peace was very paramount because it was the only means by which Ghanaians could co-exist, “and coexistence will engender development.”
Rev. Amartey appealed to the media to present facts, not sensational subjects. “
Let us be mindful of each other. Every man’s actions and inactions have an effect on other people, the environment and the entire community.
So anytime you are going to speak and interact with other people, be mindful of the words you speak; we need everybody to take this seriously so that our country would be secured,” he insisted.
The Prampram workshop is the last leg in a series of workshops organised by the Peace Council in collaboration with the Canadian High Commission aimed at fostering peace in Ghana ahead of the general elections.