The Ghana Center for Democratic Development’s (CDD-Ghana) has held its maiden Democracy & Governance Boot Camp, with a call on participants to be positive change agents in their respective communities and contribute to building a better Ghana and Africa for their generation.

The camp, which is one of the flagship activities of the CDD@20 celebrations, was aimed at raising a critical mass of future influencers to impact and change the fortunes of the Ghanaian and African society.

It sought to invest democratic principles, ethical skills and leadership in teenagers, to equip them with the tools to evaluate governance knowledge against practice, inspire them to pursue higher leadership positions, increase knowledge and interest in democracy and governance issues and commit to living as ethical upright citizens who value integrity and accountability.

The week-long camp saw 33 student leaders, from randomly selected senior high schools in eight regions of Ghana, participating in various activities including, community outreach projects to Tema Fishing Harbor, Sisters of Charity Orphanage and Tema Community 1 Market, where they were made to observe peculiar challenges facing these communities and interact with community members, in order to come up with innovative solutions to help these communities rise above their challenges.

CDD grooms future guardians of democracy at maiden boot camp

The students also visited the Judiciary, Parliament House and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where they interacted with some Members of Parliament (MPs), including, Mr. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and Mr. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah about legislation and proceedings in the House, while the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Alban Bagbin extensively took them through leadership and the problems facing Ghana. At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the students toured the Administrative, Protocol and Europe Bureaus, before interacting with Deputy Ministers and some senior members of the Ministry.

They also benefited from mentorship sessions with Shamima Muslim, Convener of Alliance for Women in Media, Africa (AWMA); Nana Awere Damoah, writer and publisher; Maximus Ametorgoh, a digital marketing strategist and social media coach; Manasseh Azure, Investigative Journalist; Adjetey Anang, Ghanaian Actor; Solomon Owusu-Amankwah, Development Manager at Bamboo Bikes Initiative and Teni Agana, recipient of the presidential award from Ashesi University

CDD grooms future guardians of democracy at maiden boot camp

Addressing the students at the closing ceremony, CDD-Ghana’s Deputy Executive Director and Director of Programs, Dr. Franklin Oduro expressed the hope that the camp has been an immense learning curve for all participants.

“From my observations and the reports I have received, I can confidently say this camp has been nothing short of outstanding and impactful on all our boot campers, even our chaperones, guests and staff. I believe it has been memorable; campers have engaged with social influencers, exhibited leadership skills, practised effective communication and pushed themselves more and more out of their comfort zones each day. I hope the experience over the period has shifted your perspectives and provided a better appreciation for effective leadership and for democracy and governance in Ghana.” he said.

The Democracy & Governance Boot Camp was organized in association with Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), SOS-Hermann Gmeiner International College, Lead Afrique and Lema Concepts.