Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Senior Presidential Advisor, has called for inter-state collaboration among African countries to promote peace and security in the wake of a resurgence in coup d’états in the West Africa Sub-region.
He said undemocratic changes of governments in the sub-region had dire consequences on security and economies, stressing “instability in one state will affect other states.”
Mr Osafo-Maafo made the call at the closing of the Kofi Annan Peace and Security Forum (KAPS Forum), on Wednesday.
It was organised by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in collaboration with the Kofi Annan Foundation from Geneva.
The two-day Forum assembled political leaders, diplomats and experts for policy dialogue on evolving trends in peace and security on the continent.
Mr Osafo-Maafo said democracy in many African countries had not proceeded to the expected phase of consolidation due to cross-border instability concerns, economic challenges, bad governance, and the difficulties in embracing power alternations.
“Elections as part of our democratic consolidation have become trying times for African countries.
“…the world is used to seeing violent protests and disputes as synonyms for elections in Africa. I think the time has come for that image to be changed,” he said.
Mr Osafo-Maafo, therefore, urged African countries to embrace technology and digitisation to promote transparency and accountability in the continent’s political and social structures.
He also urged African countries to prioritise the participation of the youth in the governance process to ensure their needs were included in the political agenda.
“It is important to note that their exclusion from the political process, and unresolved grievances make them vulnerable to be radicalised by terrorist or violent extremist groups,” Mr Osafo-Maafo said.
The KAPS Forum was instituted in 2019 to provide an international platform that facilitates critical discussions and knowledge sharing on topical issues around African peace and security in a manner that informs policy.
The Forum is held annually in honour of the late Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, who strongly advocated for human rights, peace and security in the world.
Addressing the opening of the Forum on Wednesday, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo pledged that he would peacefully hand over power at the end of his tenure in 2025 and rallied other ECOWAS leaders to pledge same in furtherance of democracy in the region.
“I will respect the two-term limit for the exercise of presidential authority as stipulated in the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
“I will not be an impediment to the conduct of free and fair transparent elections. I’ll hand over power to the next elected President on 7th January 2025,” he said.