It was an evening of reminiscence, laughter and fruitful deliberations at the Editor’s Forum on the occasion of the launch of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development’s Silver Jubilee celebration.
With the theme, Civil Society and the Quest for Democracy and Inclusive Development in Ghana and Africa: The Next 25 Years, the Board, Management, Senior Fellows and staff of the Center engaged with current and veteran media practitioners, tv show hosts and social media influencers at an Editor’s forum & cocktail event on April 13, 2023. The conversation centered on reflections on civil society’s role in promoting democracy and good governance during the last 25 years, and explored ways to collaborate to sustain democracy in Ghana and Africa for the next 25 years.
The event was opened by an address from the Executive Director of the Center, Prof. H Kwasi Prempeh. The Director of Advocacy and Policy Engagement, Dr. Kojo Asante, walked the guests down memory lane from the Center’s establishment, its first operations, initiatives and the significant milestones chalked. He emphasized the importance of the media in the Center’s work and achievements over the years.
Prof. Prempeh reiterated initiatives that the Center has successfully undertaken and highlighted policies it has influenced over the 25-year period. 25 years of helping shape Ghana’s democracy has not been without challenges and frustrations. But thanks to the strategic direction of the Center’s governing board, staff’s hard work and the unflinching support of the media and other stakeholders, we have managed to stay on course and grow, he said.
Prof. Prempeh also mentioned the fact that CSOs and the media share a common ancestry and wage the same battle, as justification for kicking off the 25th anniversary celebrations with an Editors’ Forum. The media has also relied on civil society for capacity building and useful information, among other things, as well as for resource persons for their programs.
The Center’s Board Chair, Prof. Audrey Gadzekpo remarked that since its inception, CDD-Ghana has evolved from just keeping an eye on democracy, to a research institution, providing rich resources that the media can utilize. She cited the Afrobarometer surveys, the Center’s pre and post-election surveys. She expressed gratitude to the guests for honoring the invitation and offering significant reviews to the Center.
The Vice Board Chair, Mrs. Clara Kasser-Tee commended both the media and CSOs for the role they have played in sustaining the 4th Republic. She admonished the media and civil society to continue to work to protect Ghana’s democracy. Citing the recent brutal military swoop on Ashaiman community, she noted that the incident should serve as a reminder to sections of the public who are always calling for military intervention to disrupt the democracy we are currently enjoying.
Kwame Sefa Kayi, a renowned broadcast journalist with the Despite Media Group, Israel Laryea a TV/radio news anchor, Ewurabena Paha and Kafui Dey from Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), Emmanuel Dogbevi of Ghana Business News, Zubaida Mabuno, a freelance journalist and others commended the Center for its research, sound analysis and the entirety of work done to promote the country’s democracy and governance.
Also in attendance were George Sarpong, Executive Secretary of the National Media Commission (NMC), Christian Ohene from the Multimedia Group Ltd., Norman Cooper from the Ghanaian Times, Mamavi Owusu-Aboagye and Araba Koomson with the Multimedia Group, Sixtus Don Ullo from Media General, Caritas Aryee, a social entrepreneur, Isaac Kaledzi, a DW TV correspondent, Iddi Yire from the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Umaru Sanda from Citi FM/Citi TV, Ankiilu Kunateh from the African Eye Report, and Ato Ulzen Appiah a social entrepreneur and blogger.
In the coming weeks and months, the Center will initiate, stimulate and lead conversations with diverse audiences and actors around the anniversary theme to fashion an agenda for the future. The year-long celebrations will include regional engagements, an international conference on Ghana’s democracy at 30 years, a virtual homecoming for CDD-Ghana alumni around the world, and many other activities.
Here are some photos from the event.