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The world is watching Ghana – US official

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Mr Ben Kauffeld, an official at the USAID Office of Democracy and Governance section in the US Embassy on Tuesday said Ghana had built strong democratic governance in Africa, which must be jealously guarded.

He said the whole world, including the US, was keenly watching and monitoring what would happen during Election 2012.

“US is keenly watching and monitoring Ghana’s Election 2012 to see what happens and we expect to see free, fair and transparent elections as happened in the past elections so that Ghana would continue to be an example of democracy in Africa,” he said.

Mr Kauffeld made the observation in Accra before viewing an Open Government Partnership (OGP) programme, which was held in Brazil where about 55 governments met and made pledges to increase transparency and accountability.

More than 800 representatives, from more than 60 countries and over 200 civil society organisations, came together in Brasilia for a two-day open discussions to showcase their commitment to open governance.

They will share experiences from their respective countries, providing real examples of the impact of openness in helping save lives, drive economic growth and reduce widespread corruption every day around the world.

Delegates at the meeting included President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania and the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, which Brazil and the United States are the current co-chairs of the OGP hence the need for the US Embassy to involve the media in viewing the programme via Satellite.

Mr Kauffeld said Ghana had won for herself an accolade for good governance and strong democratic credentials, which African countries could come to study and stressed the need for the political leadership and the media to remain committed in promoting governance.

“We have a lot of respect for what Ghana has achieved in terms of democracy. Ghana is the country where other African countries can draw experience from and the US will help facilitate the strides made so far,” he emphasised.

He said the US Embassy was working closely with some civil society organisations such as the CDD-Ghana, Star Ghana Initiative, the Electoral Commission (EC) and other relevant bodies to build capacities of people including the media to ensure free, fair and transparent elections.

Some of the participants, during an open discussion, blamed both politicians and the media for being the causes of pockets of political chaos in the country and appealed to the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and the National Media Commission (NMC) to immediately call the media to order to avert political turmoil in the country.

Source: GNA

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