Opinions Mon, 25 Apr 2016

The Mystery of ECOWAS Democratic Glass Ceiling

Democracy still remains the best means of governance the world over, despite the mystery of the glass ceiling, placed on the ECRA (ECOWAS Citizens Right Advocates) by the GBC (Ghana Broadcasting Corporation). While watching GTV, GTV Govern and GTV 24 programs, one will have the impression that the institution is truly committed to the ideals of democracy but all efforts by the ECRA to join debates on "Governance in ECOWAS" proved to be a different experience.

The above notwithstanding, democracy is the most effective means of popularising any challenge of cultural transformation.

This remain the case because most of the cultural complications that make transformational change a challenge, are enshrined in myths and taboos, forbidden onto members of the public for open discussion. This then explain the myths and taboos, around why most rational Ghanaians and institutions, are economic with the truth on certain national and ECOWAS based topics.

Democracy is the only system of government that comes with an inbuilt mechanism by which citizens are free to discuss the cultural myths, hampering their cultural transformations. The popular participation allow for the expression of diverse opinions that are fundamental to democracy. The role of the media is very vital and the particular role of the state owned media, include the duty of accommodating all divergent democratic views.

Most of us fail to appreciate that the ECOWAS project is about the cultural transformation of 15 sovereign member states, with a combined population of about 300 million people. Each of these 15 member states of ECOWAS is a conglomeration of cultural complications, worsen by underdevelopment and modern global challenges, desperately yearning for cultural transformation.

In fact, the kingdoms in place before the formation of each of the ECOWAS member states, have all their indigenous cultural characteristics today in active conditions, fiercely resisting any form of transformation. Almost all modifications that are threats to the sovereignties of these indigenous kingdoms but necessary to make the modernised nation a better modern day culturally competitive force, are being resisted.

Furthermore, the resultant modern states formed out of the indigenous kingdoms that are being use for the formation of the super regional culture, are each culturally re-oriented into the Francophone, Anglophone and Portuguese cultures.

The ECOWAS complication is extra ordinary but not unprecedented as a cultural transformational challenge, beyond democratic solution.

Democracy in most instance has proven to provide solution to the kind of cultural transformation the ECOWAS project is faced with. The USA (United States of America) and most recently the EU (European Union), are good examples of how democracy is able to make the impossibilities associated with cultural transformations, possible. The question we are faced with is, why are responsible for transformation of the ECOWAS sluggish about exhausting all the applicable democratic options before her, when the obvious is the case? Why is the "mystery of the glass ceiling being the case, when we make available ourselves (ECRA-Ghana) to have serious TV discussion on the ECOWAS challenges? Why is the GBC shutting the door in our face?

Kofi Ali Abdul-Yekin

Chairman ECRA

(ECOWAS Citizens Right Advocates)


Columnist: Abdul-Yekin, Kofi Ali