CHAIRMAN, YOUR EXCELLENCIES , HONOURABLE MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA , D1STINGUISHED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN I am grateful to the Media Trust Limited of Nigeria for the honour of being invited to this prestigious Dialogue of the Nigerian Press Trust as a Guest Speaker.I accepted the invitation not only because I felt that a serious strain is being placed currently on the practice of democratic governance in Africa, as a result on the impact of governments of the questionable norms of an immoral unipolar; world, and also for the reason that within the context of the on-going debate, Nigeria and my own country, Ghana, have strongly committed themselves to promoting democratic governance in the West African sub-region.
Since the 1992 founding elections, Ghana has witnessed five other elections and two alternations in power.
Even before then, Ghana has had long experience with electoral politics that preceded independence in 1957 and ‘pockets’ of democratic governance in-between military regimes.
This form of challenge has manifested itself in a number of countries, mine included, when an in-coming leader and his ministers have resorted to the vilification of the previous leader and his government and the purging of the military and civil services in the bid to gamer support and loyalty for their style of governance.
This conduct is particularly deleterious and contributes to political tension that eventually polarises the country because it needlessly excludes important actors and sows the seed of division or polarisation in society.
Ladies and gentlemen After half a century of post-colonial governance, which was admittedly fraught with many political and economic hiccups, the set of norms generally accepted by our countries have brought only relative stability and prosperity, as indicators have not been quick to point out.
Be that as it may, within only two decades, we are all confronted by new difficulties that must be addressed if our system of democratic governance is to survive and move forward.
The practice of good governance in Africa today is also therefore an extension of an inherited traditional governance.
In stating this point of view, I am by no means denying the possible advantages of western ideas, institutions and systems which are generally labelled ‘good governance’.
I am therefore humbled by the opportunity to share some of my thoughts and convictions with you who are partners in the development of our continent generally.
Before I go any further, however, let me recall that political observers and leaders of the western world have already judged African countries to be practising democracy only since the beginning of the I 990s, hence the current improvement in security, stability and economies in various parts of the continent.
And so, we see emerging a serious challenge to the meticulous adherence to constitutionalism.