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Participation and inclusivity critical to Elections 2012 – USAID

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Mr Benjamin Kauffeld, Director in charge of Democracy and Governance at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), on Monday said his outfit would partner with some local civil society organizations (CSOs) to enhance participation and inclusivity in the elections next year.

He explained that participation and inclusiveness of all persons, especially those with disability, was very important to the electoral process and mentioned that USAID would help in the training of local observers.

“There will also be public education campaigns, media monitoring, observation and training of people to understand the biometric process,” Mr Kauffeld said.

He made this known when the USAID held a round table with the media as part of USAID’s 50th Anniversary.

Ms Cheryl Anderson, Mission Director of USAID, Ghana, said her organization had been committed to the vision of empowering Ghanaians to build a prosperous nation through programmes in good governance, economic growth, health, basic education and agriculture.

“Ghana is an important US partner in Africa. We are proud of the work that we have done together over the past 50 years which has brought Ghana to the threshold of being a prosperous, self-reliant country,” he said.

She said USAID was focused on the priorities that would help Ghana achieve self-reliance, provide public services to its people and serve as a model of good governance and sustainable development and stability in the region.

Ms Anderson said Ghana was recently designated as a focus country for the US government’s “Feed the Future Initiative”, a programme that aimed at bringing vast new resources to address the root causes of hunger that affected two million Ghanaians mainly in the Northern regions of Ghana.

The Feed the Future Initiative hopes to assist 18 million vulnerable women, children and family members, mostly small holder farmers to escape hunger and poverty.

Ms Anderson noted that promoting sustainable food security was a prominent objective in Ghana’s own national development agenda.

She expressed the hope that there would be continued relationship with Ghana as it became a model and catalyst for good governance and sustainable development in Africa.

Source: GNA

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