Opinions Wed, 1 May 2013

The citadel of democracy in Africa

From the Diaspora, Bishop George Ofori-Nyadu USA.

In many ways, the challenges of Africa democracy are a reflection of what is currently going on in Ghana. Democracy in the west has evolved over centuries and even then, its proponents understood its limitations and challenges. It is a democratically proven fact that Africa, for the most part, has raced through the democratization process in just a couple of decades. Though much of the continent considers itself democratic, only few Africa nations are considered as a citadel of democracy.

There is a growing pains associated with emerging democracies. But if the current political battles in Ghana are allowed to continue, I believe the nation will lose potential investors. I personally believe that the nations' recent democratic transitions had brought economic hardship to innocent citizens. My appeal to the powers that be is that, every effort must be made to improve the lives of majority of Ghanaians who are suffering as a result of the current political battle. We want to see positive change in the lives of the people in Ghana.

As a result of the political battle being fought at the Supreme Court, many business and potential investors are on hold. Some are even calling for a resurgence of so-called coup-d’état. Ghana being the citadel of democracy in Africa will not tolerate any form of such interventions. In Ghana, as in many parts of Africa, members of the educated élite bristle at the notion that Western-style democracy is the solution. Either European or American-style of democracy may be good. I suggest it is about time we develop our own indigenous democracy.

But as Ghana faces a serious election crisis, flexible and responsive leadership is all the more crucial. While the specter of election mayhem, catalyzed one of the most crucial presidential campaigns in recent times. It is my prayer that the Supreme Court judges will be able to decide speedily on the substantive case to avoid violence in the days ahead. Whiles NPP and NDC engage in partisan politics that has little to do with how to solve our economic challenges.

Indeed, Ghana is failing to become the citadel of democracy in Africa. Our leaders are to represent the will of the people. Back then when the nation was poor and ravaged by frequent military interventions, Ghana's citizens made a wise decision, that economic progress could predate political reform. Today by the grace of God, most Ghanaians are fed and clothed.

Citadel is a place of leadership and good example. A place where standards are high and discipline is strong and leaders are selfless. These are times of change and challenge. Let us return to the values that has brought us this far and has made us a citadel of democracy in Africa. I hope all the stakeholders of our young democracy will accept the verdict of the Supreme Court. Now a new generation of Ghanaian leaders is emerging as I wrote on my previous article. “The Emergence of a new Leader” Our challenge is not as obvious, but just as noble: To turn these years of crises into moments of peace. May God bless our dear nation Ghana as we move from national crises into national peace and prosperity.

From the office of the Presiding Bishop of All Nations International Churches, His grace Bishop George Ofori-Nyadu. USA

Columnist: Ofori-Nyadu, George