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Ghana must determine her own development model –American political Sociologist

American political sociologist, Professor Larry Diamond.

Professor Larry Diamond, an American political sociologist, says Ghana and other African countries must determine their own model for democratic governance to champion development that would respond to their needs.

He said the development model should emanate from the people and be informed and adapted by the circumstances of the country.

Delivering a presentation on the topic: “Democracy Decline in West Africa: Challenges and Path Forward”, Prof. Diamond said the importation of external models of development may not best suit the development paradigm of all countries.

The programme was organised by the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Council on Foreign Relations Ghana, and the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC).

It was on the theme: “Democracy Decline in West Africa: A Conversation with Policy Actors”.

Prof. Diamond said any development model adopted by a country should follow a democratic process to make the country responsive, accountable and uphold rule of law and human rights.

“Don’t accept any model (of democracy). There is no one model and the models need to constantly keep changing and the best system is the one that is reformed and adapted and informed by the circumstances of each country,” he said.

Prof. Diamond said liberal democracy was experiencing vulnerability globally and expressed concern about the continuous “backsliding” of democracy in recent years.

He attributed the decline to poor governance, which reduced public trust and confidence in democratic systems, corruption, influx of disinformation fuelled by social media, among other factors.

“The fact that you have periodic multi-party elections does not in itself mean that you have a democracy,” Prof. Diamond said, and added that true democracy must deliver public good and uphold rights and rule of law.

Prof. Diamond urged African countries to conduct periodic review of their institutions to identify areas of reform and improve inefficiencies identified by the people.

On the issue of monetisation of politics, he said the canker threatened democracy and called for reforms in political campaign financing.

Madam Virginia E. Palmer, the United States (US) Ambassador to Ghana, urged West African countries to exercise confidence in democracy in spite of governance challenges.

United States (US) Ambassador to Ghana, Madam Virginia E. Palmer.

She said a breakdown of democracy could spell more doom for the continent and advocated urgent measures to tackle disinformation, which had become a tool against democratic governments.

“When democratic governments fail to live up to expectation, the solution is actually more democracy not less,” she said.

Major General Richard Addo Gyane, Commandant, KAIPTC, said Africa’s political and socioeconomic development could be achieved through deepening institutional effectiveness, inclusiveness and robust engagement of multiple stakeholders in holding people in office accountable.

“It has become obvious that normative frameworks on democracy and good governance have some limitations and thus require some revision,” he said.

Major General Richard Addo Gyane, Commandant, KAIPTC.

Prof. Henry Kwasi Prempeh, Executive Director, CDD-Ghana, said the resurgence of coups in Africa should not be treated as an issue for some countries, but a concern for all countries.

He said the development could have a ripple effect on the socio-economic development of all countries on the Continent.

Source: GNA

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