STAR-Ghana Foundation has disbursed GH₵9 million for the implementation of 26 projects aimed at making next year’s general elections peaceful, inclusive and credible.
The public education and advocacy projects, centred on issues including political party manifestoes, electoral violence , inclusive participation of gender groups and election monitoring, are to be implemented by 26 selected public and private organisations.
Starting next month to the end of February 2021, the implementing organisations include Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) and Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC); Centre for Democratic Development (CDD); Media Foundation for West Africa, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation and other media houses and civil society groups.
The Executive Director of the foundation, Ibrahim-Tanko Amidu, speaking at the grant signing and project launch ceremony in Accra on Tuesday, said the grant was provided by the United Kingdom government, Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) and the European Union to strengthen citizenship participation.
He said the project were categorised into two ; the strategic component which deals with national and regional issues and local component involving constituency and district matters adding that capacity building would be provided when needed.
According to him, strengthening citizen participation was key in the electoral process because it enabled them demand accountable and responsive government and be part of the development process.
Iain Walker, the British High Commissioner to Ghana, delivering the keynote address said his country was not interested in the outcome of the election but the support provided was to help boost democracy.
He said all stakeholders had a role to play in the country’s democratic dispensation and ensure accountability, peace and fairness reigned in the upcoming election.
Diana Acconcia , European Union Ambassador noted that the media and civil society groups played a key role in election and needed the support to whip up interest of the citizenry and make elections issue-based.
As part of measures to ran an effective election 2020, the Electoral Commission Deputy Chairperson, Samuel Tettey, said the commission was restructuring its internal systems, reviewing electoral laws, acquiring upgraded verification machines ,building capacity, amongst other things.
Dr Esther Ofei-Aboagye-Chairperson , Star Ghana Foundation Governing Council in a presentation, outlined 10 ways to make election 2020 better.
She recommended collaboration between civil society groups, increased citizenship engagement, improved voter process for persons with disability and older persons, positive use of social media to increase awareness drive, capacity building of political parties to be transparent, and responsible media reportage.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR