Too much power in the State bad for democracy – Prof Agyemang-Duah

Too much power in the State bad for democracy – Prof Agyemang-Duah
Source: Ghana | | George Nyavor |
Date: 08-09-2016 Time: 06:09:53:am
Prof Agyeman-Duah

A Senior Governance Adviser to the United Nations has observed that heightened tension that characterise political discourse in the country is the result of the nature of the governance system.

He said in Ghana and other parts of Africa too much power has been accorded the state, making it a viable channel to amass well, a situation that is defeating the purpose of governance.

“In most African countries the state continues to be the main source of, not only income, but power. It means that for most Africans to do well in their lives, they have to have a certain connection with the state directly or indirectly,” he said.

He was speaking on current affairs programme PM Express, Wednesday.

The programme discussed means to a violence-free December 7 elections.

As the crucial general elections approach, pro-peace organisations have been engaging political parties and other stakeholders to highlight the need for peace before and after the elections.

The Election Security Task force has begun an anti-violence campaign targeted at reducing tension at the various polling stations described as election hotspots.

Over 81 constituencies across the country have been marked as notorious for violence for the December elections.

Head of the Election Security task force, Chief Supt Dr Ben Agordzor, say the violence hotspots in the 81 constituencies make up a total of over 5,000 potentially violent polling stations.

Speaking on PM Express Wednesday, Professor Agyemang-Duah said youth engagement in productive work would prevent them from taking part in potentially violent acts.

He however, called for a re-think of the governance in Ghana and other African countries to secure a more productive system.

According to him, because many African states did not create and adopt a nation-specific governance system, there is an inconsistency between the social realities in African countries and the governance systems copied badly from colonial masters.

“If you look all African democracies, we have copied and pasted the governance styles of our colonial masters.  We are picking and adopting certain things without even picking the ethics that govern those systems,” he said.

Executive Director for the West Africa Network for Peace building (WANEP), Dr. Chukwu Emeka Eze,  who was also on the PM Express show said the inherent disparity in the culture and political system in many African states is evident in the deep division of political parties along ethnic lines.

An effective system that would work for African states should not be state democracy, but communal democracy since that reflects the real identity of many African societies, Dr Emeka Eze said.

“Even though today we have chieftaincy disputes, we still know that there is some level of attachment between the chief and the citizenry,” he said.

According to him, democracy in Africa is retrogressing.

Watch the entire programme on the video link below.