We must foster dialogue among ethnic groups – Professor Emmanuel Asante

Most Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante

The Most Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, the former Chairman of the National Peace Council (NPC), has called on the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism to promote dialogue among various ethnic groups in the country.

This would greatly enhance social cooperation, foster and deepen the unity required for national progress, he said.

Prof. Asante made the call when he was speaking at a forum to mark the 2022 International Peace Day in Sunyani.

In 1981, the United Nations General Assembly declared the third Tuesday of September as International Peace Day to strengthen the ideals of peace around the world.

The Bono Regional Secretariat of the NPC organised the forum attended by school children, Islamic scholars, civil society organisations and political party representatives.

Speaking on the topic: “Ethnicism on Sustainable Peace in Ghana”, Prof. Asante said concerted efforts must be made to make Ghanaians understand the need to tolerate each other’s ethnic values and diversities to deepen national peace, tranquility and social cohesion.

He emphasised God created human beings with ethic and cultural differentiations, saying “any attempt to deny who we are impedes our co-existence, growth and social progress”.

However, Prof. Asante said internal conflicts, which remained the bane of Africa’s development, were often characterised by ethnicity, tribalism and religion, and thereby threatened societal peace, required for national growth and development.

Prof. Asante said humans were social beings with diversities, hence the need for Ghanaians to accept and forbear each other’s cultural backgrounds and avoid ethnocentrism that turned to divide the people.

Ethnocentrism, he explained, was the tendency to judge others culture as inferior, and expressed worry that ethnocentric politics in the country continued to undermine and threatened the prevailing peace of the nation.

Prof. Asante said politically Ghana was practicing a multi-party democracy that enjoined everybody, irrespective of ethnic or tribal background to join a political party of his or her choice, saying “our differences must not impede our healthy growth because reality is diverse”.

“This country must cautiously and deliberately practice ethnic balancing in areas of social and political endeavours, including employments and allocation of national resources in order not to exacerbate latent tensions in the country”, he added.

In speech read on his behalf, Rev. Father William Kyere, the Chairman of the Bono Regional Peace Council, expressed appreciation to all stakeholders, including traditional authorities for their support towards promoting peace in the region.

Earlier, Alhaji Suallah Abdallah Quandah, the Bono Regional Executive Secretary of the NPC, said the members of the Regional NPC had ended their service, saying a new council would be re-constituted.

He urged the people to continue to support the NPC to tackle the diverse problems that threatened the peace of the region.

Alhaji Quandah mentioned perennial chieftaincy disputes and land litigation as some of the pressing challenges and called on the judicial committee of the Bono Regional House of Chiefs to facilitate adjudication of the cases to sustain the prevailing peace in the region.

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