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The Center for Democratic Development, Ghana (CDD-Ghana), has launched its 20th anniversary celebrations to mark two decades of leveraging policy research and practice to promote good governance.
Established in 1998, CDD has made significant strides in helping to chart the path to democracy in Ghana while emerging as a leader in the generation and dissemination of high-quality public opinion surveys and other relevant data for effective advocacy and policy-making in Ghana and across the African continent.
Speaking at the launch, the Executive Director of CDD-Ghana, Prof. H. Kwasi Prempeh, said CDD-Ghana began its operations two decades ago when Ghana’s democratic project under the Fourth Republic was only five years old and the prospects for democracy were still uncertain.
According him, Ghana’s democratic journey has since crossed many significant milestones: the two-term presidential term limit has been dutifully respected; multi-party politics have been institutionalized, three electoral turnovers; the space for private media has expanded dramatically; and libel has been de-criminalized.
He said these achievements have helped to establish Ghana as a leader among new democracies although significant challenges remain, progresses chalked since 1993 could not be overlooked upon.
“We are proud of the role CDD-Ghana has played these last two decades to help chart the path to democracy in Ghana,” he stated.
Prof. Prempeh, indicated that CDD has successfully led the mobilization and organization of civil society voice and activism on key national issues through the building of effective national coalition and networks, and provided important technical and analytic input for relevant public institutions and committees of Parliament.
He noted also that they had championed decentralized and inclusive local governance, championed the cause of the marginalized and vulnerable in society, and with respect to elections, they had worked tirelessly and consistently to enhance voter participation in elections and improve the credibility of elections.
Professor Kwasi Prempeh, emphasized that, as an organization, they had nurtured and opened up career paths for scores of democracy, governance and social accountability enthusiasts, analysts and advocates of good governance and inclusive development.
The Centre, he said will continue to work to secure and increase the integrity and credibility of the institutions and processes of democratic representation, including local and national elections and election management; citizen and community access to and participation in electoral processes; and the responsiveness and accountability of political institutions at both local and national levels.
Their Social Inclusion and Equity programme, he noted would continue to fight for the respect of the political, economic, and social rights of all citizens, as well as ensure the wellbeing of women, youth, rural communities, and other socially disadvantaged groups.
“With our newly introduced Economic and Corporate Governance programme, we aim to increase the transparency, integrity, and effectiveness of government in its management of public assets and resources, contractual and other transactional dealings with the business sector, and regulation of private economic activity and investment,” he stated.
The Executive Director, however touched on their Justice, Peace and Security programme and the Afrobarometer project which collects public opinion data on political and socioeconomic issues in more than 35 African countries which he indicated, remains a critical part of their efforts to expand Africa footprint and to steadily share knowledge, skills and experiences with other African countries.
CDD-Ghana as part of the event celebrated their founding fathers whose good efforts saw the growth of the Centre over the years. These great founding fathers include Professor E. Gyimah-Boadi, who was the founder and former Executive Director and a co-founder of the Afrobarometer, a pan-African survey research project measuring the political, economic and social atmosphere in African countries.
He was also a former professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Ghana, Legon, held faculty positions at universities in the United States, including the School of International Service of the American University (Washington, D.C.), and fellowships at the Center for Democracy, Rule of Law and Development (Stanford University), the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, America.
Professor Baffour Agyeman Duah, is a co-founder of the CDD-Ghana, and the current Chief Executive Officer at the John A. Kufuor Foundation. He worked for about a decade with the United Nations as a Senior Governance Adviser in Tanzania and as Senior Special Adviser at the United Nations Mission in Liberia.
He has served as Elections Consultant for the National Democratic Institute of USA in Liberia and Sierra Leone, and for the Commonwealth in Zimbabwe and Cameroon. A former university professor, he taught in North Carolina and served as Fulbright Professor at the Legon Center for International Affairs, University of Ghana. An advocate for democracy and good governance, Prof Baffour has made numerous appearances on Radio and Television stations in Ghana, Voice of American and BBC to comment on Governance and Democracy in Africa.
Mr. William Asiedu Yeboah, also a co-founder and a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (UK) and currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Negotiated Benefits Trust Company.
Kwasi Abeasi, was the first Board Chairman of CDD-Ghana, and Managing Director/Chief Executive of the African Business Roundtable. He was the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC). Abeasi also worked with the Volta Aluminium Company, Mobil Oil Ghana Limited, and the Agricultural Development Bank, ADB. He is well known more for his pioneering role in advocacy for the private sector, having established and become the first Director General of the Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF).
Key among the dignitaries present at the event were; Dr. Franklin Oduro, Deputy Executive Director of CDD-Ghana, Dr. Kojo Asante, Director of Advocacy and Policy Engagement, Felix Biga, Director of Finance and Administration, Dr. Edem Selormey, Research and Knowledge Management, and Prof. Audrey Gadzekpo, Vice Chairperson of CDD-Ghana’s Governing Board.
Source: Sammy Adjei || Ghananewsonline.com.gh
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