By: Razak Baba
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr. Simon Osei-Mensah says in recent time, Ghana’s image as an oasis of peace and stability has come under threat as a result of frequent disputes and conflicts that have ethnic undertones. These conflicts according to him, do not only threaten national peace but also socio-economic development.
Mr. Osei-Mensah who expressed this sentiment at the observance of World Peace Day in Kumasi said funds earmarked for development projects often have to be diverted to provide for security needs, therefore putting a strain on the ability of the government to provide other essential public amenities such as education and health.
This year’s World Peace Day was observed under the theme, “Ending Ethnocentrism and Discrimination for Sustainable Peace” and brought together various faith-based organisations, youth wings of political parties, students of senior high schools and colleges of Education and civil society organisations.
Participants discussed challenges and priorities to support their active participation in peace building with respect to diversity.
They were also sensitized to need to embrace and tolerate differences in ethnic identities, while generating a network that promotes the active inclusion of young people in peace and security at all levels.
The event was organized by the Ashanti Regional Peace Council in collaboration with the National Youth Authoritiy.
A member of the Regional Peace Council, Professor Esmerelda Manful emphasized the need for Ghanaians to understand the problems ethnocentrism causes in diverse aspects of the national fabric and make conscious efforts to curb its existence.
An officer, who represented the General Officer Commanding Central Command, Major Kakra Sasu-Antwi urged Ghanaians to shed off ethnic biases and embrace one another as one people to further enhance sustainable peace and development.
The Vice Chancellor of Kumasi Technical University, Professor Osei Owusu-Achaw warned of the dangers ethnic conflicts to national peace and stability.
The Vice Chancellor of Kumasi Technical University, Prof. Osei Owusu-Achaw said the threat for a an ethnic conflict undermine national peace and stability and therefore reminds Ghanaians of importance of peace in nation building.
He therefore urged the youth groups to drums home better the need for all in this country to eschew ethnicity, respect each other and to strive to live in peace with all.
The address of the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr. Simon Osei-Mensah, which was read by the Oforikrom Municipal Chief Executive, Mr. Abraham Kwame Antwi, urged Ghanaians to see themselves us one people and not as belonging to ethnic groups.
The Kokofu Adwrahene, Nana Kwadwo Safo, underscored the need for Ghanaians to “encourage inter tribal marriage to sustain peaceful co-existence”.