The Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, Most Reverend, Charles Palmer-Buckle, has expressed worry about the branding of individuals who speak on development issues in the country, as belonging to one political party or the other.
According to the archbishop, anybody who commented on any development issue was tagged as being an NDC or NPP supporter and that was making a lot of experts and knowledgeable individuals shy away from contributing to the development agenda of the country.
Rev. Palmer-Buckle, made the observation at the launch of a global survey which focused on Africa and Ghana in Accra on Monday. He said it was regrettable that individuals, including men of God who spoke on national issues, were branded as being members of the two major political parties, saying it is like “give a dog a bad name and hang it”.
The survey, dubbed: “ International Development in Sub-Saharan Africa” which was conducted in Ghana in April, last year by the Pew Research Centre, a non-profit organisation based in Washington in the US, focused on African countries such as Ethiopia, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.
Rev. Palmer-Buckle said “some of us are neither here nor there, and we must claim the political space to contribute our quota to the development of the country,”adding that “let us relieve ourselves of the shackles of the co-optation as being NDC or NPP”.
Rev. Palmer-Buckle encouraged experts to ignore the political branding of individuals by the political fanatics and let their views be heard on issues bordering on the development of the country.
He commended PEW Research Centre for conducting the survey, saying “no research is perfect, and let us build on what the PEW Research Centre has done to accelerate the development of the country”.
Dr. Richard Wikes, the Lead Researcher and Director of Global Attitudes at the PEW Research Centre said the survey sought to seek the views of Ghanaians on development issues in the country.
He said the survey touched on issues such as the economy, foreign aid and the extractive sector.
Dr. Wikes said the survey revealed that 60 per cent of Ghanaians, were optimistic the economy will improve this year, while 26 per cent of the respondent said the current economic situation was good.
He said 56 per cent of the respondents were optimistic children in the country would be better off in the future.
He said according to the study 60 per cent of the respondents said foreign aid was good, while 76 per cent of respondents said the extractive industry was contributing positively to the development of the country through job creation.
Touching on the perceptions of Ghanaians about US and China, Dr. Wikes said 86 per cent of Ghanaians had a positive view of the US and 80 per cent of respondents had a positive view of China.
The president of Imani, Franklin Cudjoe, said his outfit was proud to be associated with the programme, and commended the PEW Research Centre for conducting the study.
By Kingsley Asare