Participants at the just ended 11th Harmattan School have heavily criticized the practice where some individuals and groups are excluded from the governance process, and called on government and other key players to take urgent steps to close the inclusion gaps in our governance processes. The event which marked the 11th anniversary of the inception of the School brought together people from academia, civil society and development partners to discuss pertinent issues under the theme “Strengthening Multi-Party Democracy and Promoting Inclusive Governance for National Development: a Shared Responsibility.”

In a Speech, Prof. G. A. Teye, Vice-Chancellor of the University for Development Studies observed that the successful conduct of the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections and the subsequent inauguration of a new president was another milestone which proved to the rest of Africa and the world that Ghana’s democracy had come of age. He expressed the hope that the recommendations of the School, especially those that addressed the issue of exclusiveness in governance, would be accorded due attention by key players, especially government. 

Delivering the Keynote address, Prof. E. Gyimah-Boadi, Executive Director, Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) expressed the view that notwithstanding the progress made in practicing democracy since 1993, gaps still existed in the area of inclusive governance, since political and socio-economic benefits had not been equally distributed. According to him, women, people living with disabilities and rural dwellers suffered exclusion in terms of representation and the enjoyment of economic and social benefits arising from development.

 Prof. Gyimah-Boadi prescribed such measures as constitutional reforms, expansion in the size of the national cake and denunciation of corruption and attitudes that condone the practice to effectively close the gaps that exist in inclusive governance.

For his part, Dr. E. S. Mahama, Director of the Institute of Interdisciplinary Research and Consultancy Services, (the Organisers of the forum) paid glowing tribute to individuals and organisations who in diverse ways have contributed towards achieving the goals of the Harmattan School. Special mention was made of Prof. David Millar, a former Pro-Vice-Chancellor of UDS who was described as “the brain behind the Harmattan School” whose instrumentality and unflinching support had sustained the School over the years. Ms. Justina Anglaaere and Prof. Gordana Kranjac-Berisalvjevic chaired the opening and closing sessions respectively.

Source: University Relations