By Kodjo Adams/Priscilla Oye Ofori, GNA
Accra, Jan 23, GNA – Dr Kodjo Mensah-Abrampah,
the Director General of National Development Planning Commission, has called on
Ghanaians to see elections as a developmental decision and not only the
election of leaders to govern the country.
This, he explained, was imperative because the
elected leaders were expected to implement developmental projects for the
nation in line with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda.
Dr Mensah-Abrampah said this on Wednesday at a
stakeholders’ forum on peaceful elections on the theme “Towards Election 2020
in Ghana and its Implications on the SDGs and Development”.
The forum was organised by Abibiman
Foundation, an NGO, in partnership with the Kofi Annan International
Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC).
The 2030 Agenda for SDGs was adopted by world
leaders in September 2015 as a successor framework to the Millennium
It provides a shared framework that foster
collaboration among development actions, mobilise stakeholder and promote
integrated thinking and actions.
He said a peaceful election would depict the
country as a safe place for doing business within the sub-district and attract
foreign direct investment, which was necessary to accelerate the implementation
of the 2030 SDGs.
“A peaceful, free and fair elections would
boost Ghana’s credentials as a matured democracy and attract goodwill from the
international community”, he added.
He said by integration of the SDGs into the
planning and budgeting processes, the 2030 would not be perceived as a special
development framework, but become part of the Metropolitan, Municipal and
District Assemblies programmes.
However, the outcome of previous elections
were hailed by international media, the diplomatic missions and other
stakeholders as a model of peace in the West Africa region.
Mr Mensah-Abrampah stated that the major
threat to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda was the eruption of violence
before, during and after the elections, stressing that it behooved on all to
work towards ensuring peaceful 2020 elections.
Major General Francis Ofori, the Commandant of
KAIPTC, said despite the wide acceptance that transparent and credible
elections remained the most viable, legal and legitimate form of accessing
political power, the winner takes-all attitude towards elections in West Africa
had resulted in pre and post-election related violence.
He added that Ghana’s elections and democratic
transitions had been a model for other countries to emulate, and therefore
could not afford to have an election that would be marred by widespread
“We need to understand and respond to the
multiplicity of issues that have the propensity to create tensions and increase
violence before and after the elections’’ he said.
Mr Alexander Poku Akubia, the Acting Director,
Research, Monitoring and Evaluation, Electoral Commission, said the Commission
would adhere to its mandate of ensuring credible electoral processes for the
impending general election.
He said, for the country to achieve free and
fair electoral processes and the SDGs, the country must be free from violence,
bribery, cheating, intimidation and abuse of incumbency.
“Ghana as a nation should adopt and implement
the SDG 16 and strive to achieve the relevant targets in respect to the 2020
elections to ensure that the electoral processes was managed to ensure peaceful
and inclusive society”.
Mr Kwabena Okai Ofosuhene, the Founder of
Abibiman Foundation, urged Ghanaians to discuss policies of developmental
projects than focusing on politics which divide the citizenry.
He said the country could not develop without
peaceful existence, adding that the cost of peace cannot be equated to the cost