UN to support Ghana’s 2016 elections

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61742980The United Nations (UN) has indicated its readiness to provide support towards the 2016 general elections.

This announcement followed a meeting between President John Dramani Mahama and the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, during the ongoing UN General Assembly in New York at the weekend.

A Facebook post by Mr. Ben Dotsei Malor, former senior communications adviser and head of communications at the presidency after the meeting, said, “The Secretary-General expressed the UN’s commitment to supporting Ghana’s Electoral Commission in view of the 2016 elections.”

He however, did not indicate whether the assistance would be geared towards the campaign for a new voter register as being pushed by the New Patriotic Party (NPP), other political parties and pressure groups, led by the Let My Vote Count Alliance (LMVCA).

They believe the register is bloated and therefore cannot be used for any free and fair elections hence, the need for the country’s Electoral Commission (EC) to compile a new roll.

Apart from having identified more than 75,286 foreign (mainly Togolese) nationals on Ghana’s voter register, they also claim that there exist some ghost names and minors on the register for which reason it must be changed.

This has sparked a raging debate in the country with the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) vehemently rejecting calls for a new register saying, there is nothing wrong with the existing one.

Meanwhile, speaking at a dialogue session of the UN Sustainable Development Summit in New York, President Mahama charged his fellow African leaders not to use the emergence of flashy shopping malls as a measure of development.

Rather, he stressed the need for his colleague heads of state to invest in agriculture and energy which he said is a sure way of ensuring sustained development and improvement in standards of living across Africa.

“There must be a redefinition of what our development paradigm is,” he said.

“If the model we must all follow is to have flashy shopping malls filled with all kinds of consumer goods, glitzy new lights and the attractions we see in the big cities of the developed world, then we need six more planets like health to sustain humankind,” he articulated.

He therefore identified the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as critical to the survival of mankind and called for a concerted effort from world leaders to achieve the goals.

According to President Mahama, Africa must strive to access its comparative advantage in agriculture and energy to maximize its attainment of the goals.

He made reference to enough arable land and sunshine in Africa as a particular case and said whilst all the goals are critical for Africa, that of energy and agriculture remains key.

The Ghanaian leader noted that with conscious and dedicated investments in agriculture – focusing on agro processing – Africa has a huge potential of achieving most of the goals.

He identified the challenge energy poses to development, particularly on the African continent, and called on leaders to ensure that the challenge is addressed.

By Charles Takyi-Boadu

ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

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A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

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