Dr Angela Lusigi, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative in Ghana, has presented information technology equipment to the National Peace Council (NPC) to facilitate its work.
The equipment is to help protect sensitive and confidential information at the Council’s Secretariat.
The items, which were received by Reverend Dr Ernest Adu-Gyamfi, the Chairman of the NPC, included four desktop computers, five scanners, 14 laptops and eight black and white printers.
Dr Lusigi said due to the inextricable nexus between peace and development, supporting Ghana’s effort to promote peace and prevent conflict had been a key programme area for the Country Office.
She said though Ghana had not experienced a civil war, pockets of land, chieftaincy and recently the rise in political vigilante activities had the potential of destabilising the country and scuttling developmental gains.
Dr Lusigi said in line with UNDP’s mandate of working towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 16, which was an enabler for the achievement of the other SDGs, the peace portfolio had been collaborating with the NPC to advocate for peace, mediate conflicts and promote consensus-building across the country.
She commended the Council for its efforts in promoting peace and social cohesion in Ghana, especially during the last election through extensive sensitisation and engaging stakeholders.
Dr Lusigi said the greatest success of the NPC had been in preventing election-related violence by engaging relevant stakeholders, especially coordinating the events leading to the signing of the High-Level Peace Pact, in 2020.
That was where the presidential candidates of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) publicly pledged to use peaceful means to resolve differences.
She said the UNDP had been collaborating and supporting the NPC to achieve its mandate, since its inception, saying: “We started by collaborating with the Ministry of the Interior on processes leading to the establishment of the National Peace Council”.
Dr Lusigi said as part of the partnership the UNDP continued to provide the Council with technical, financial and logistical support for its effective functioning.
She said in the recent past the UNDP, in collaboration with DANIDA, provided vehicles, furniture and equipment to all regional offices across the country.
Regarding the IT equipment, Dr Lusigi said: “We believe that the equipment will facilitate the work of the Council, especially in protecting sensitive and confidential information.”
“The laptops will also enable staff to work outside the office in these times of COVID-19 and effectively engage each other using the ZOOM license UNDP provided to the Council in 2020.”
“UNDP will continue its partnership with the Peace Council to deliver on its mandate to ensure that Ghana continuous to be the beacon of peace within the sub-region.”
Rev Dr Adu-Gyamfi, on behalf of the Council, expressed gratitude to the UNDP for the gesture and said it had contributed enormously to the progress of the Council.
“…In the past, they gave us 10 pickup vehicles for our regional works and they also donated to us one Toyota Fortuner vehicle, which we are using for most of our works.”
Mr George Amoh, the Executive Secretary of the NPC, also expressed gratitude to the UNDP for supporting the Council since its establishment.
He said the NPC’s Conflict Map had been very instrumental in its works and also provided information for researchers/academics, both in and outside Ghana.
Mr Amoh said the high cost of sustaining the Conflict Map was a worry and that the Council could not afford to pay the annual subscription fees, hence it was no longer in existence.
“So, that is our challenge. And we will be very happy if you can make it a friendly tool, not only where we keep data but if we can make it a kind of a living map, which will lend itself to gathering information from early warning across the country.”