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South Sudanese delegation appeals for strong civic, electoral systems

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Social Sudan Delegation

A 10-member delegation from South Sudan has appealed to the Government of Ghana to help them to build strong civic and electoral systems to put an end to years of civil unrest.

South Sudan have been locked in civil unrest since she attained independence from Sudan on July 9, 2011.
Speaking at a meeting with executives of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in Accra, as part of a five-day visit to Ghana, Mr Yoannes Amum Nyiker, Secretary General of the National Elections Commission (NEC), said this would enable them to deliver a free and fair elections in their 2023 polls.

The delegation, mostly members of the NEC and Political Parties Council (PPC), in Ghana for a benchmark study of Ghana’s progress and achievements in the areas of governance, including civic education, electoral administration, peace-building, conflict resolution and security management.

It included Mr Nyiker, the leader of delegation; Mr Richard Tito Louga, Deputy Registrar, Political Parties Council (PPC); Mr George Odera, Executive Director, (PPC); Flora Edward Wadi, Executive Secretary, (PPC) and Mayor Ichok Ganag and Mr Mut Sisco Lam, both members of NEC.

The rest are; Mr Charles Loker, Programme Analyst, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)—South Sudan; Mr Barnaba Mayor Deng, Director of Capacity Development (NEC); Abiol Victor Kowal, Inspector of Administration, PPC and Lona Severino Kiri, Member, NEC.

Mr Nyiker said, as a country emerging from a civil war, South Sudan needed strong institutions, especially civic and electoral systems to provide the necessary education to citizens to enable them to make informed decisions.
He said even though they were not certain as to when elections would be held, it hoped to build strong civic and electoral systems, and political parties to ensure a free and fair elections.

He added South Sudan recognised civic education as paramount in elections as it prepared the citizens, parties and all stakeholders to conduct free and fair election.“That is why we planned to come and learn from you to help us in dealing with our affairs come 2023 or beyond,” Mr Nyiker said.

Already, the group had held discussions with key governance institutions, including the Electoral Commission, Ghana Journalists Association and National Peace Council.

Mr Kojo Tito Voegborlo, NCCE Commission Secretary, cautioned the delegation against vesting civic and electoral powers into the hand of one body in their effort to establish institutions, especially the NEC.
He said that would defeat the purpose of encouraging citizen participation and prevent civic education from achieving its goals and encouraged more collaboration between the electoral body and civic organisations to increase voter knowledge.

Mr Voegborlo tasked the yet to be established civic education body to prioritise education of religious and ethnic tolerance to bring peace and development to South Sudan.

Mr Samuel Asare Akuamoah, Deputy Chairman of the Commission in charge of Operations, assured the delegation of Ghana’s readiness to assist South Sudan to build an effective civic education system when they call on them.
In attendance were Ms Monica Mamattah, from the Finance Department; Mrs Henrietta Yemidi, Research and Gender Equality; Dr Imurana Mohammed, Acting Director, Programmes and Mrs Joyce Afutu, Director, Communication and Corporate Affairs, as well as other staff members.

South Sudan becomes the third country in Africa to understudy Ghana’s civic structure after the Gambia in 2019 and Malawi in May 2022.

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