Feature Article of Saturday, 8 December 2012
Columnist: Danso, Kwaku A.
It appears Dr. Afari Djan has done a tremendous job as Chairman in the last 20 years of Ghana’s 4th attempt at democracy. As much as many will agree the Ghana 4th Constitution should not be an example of how a democracy should work due to the concentration of all powers in the Presidency, many African nations use Ghana as an example of tolerance and temperance in a competitive human selection process.
If there are three things we can recommend for Dr. Afari Djan before he retires, they are:
(1) He should take a leadership role in requiring a standard national identification system in this computerized age, so that registration process can be facilitated a thousand times easier and done all year round, and not a two week period. It is a waste of resources to have a different ID system every election cycle.
(2) The EC in his wisdom should try and persuade the Minister of Interior and the Commissioner of Lands to have a property identification system in Ghana, so that all streets are named and houses numbered. This can be done very easily by making all districts present their Site Plans to the Land Department and letting the people in each town suggest names for their streets. In addition to election facilitation, a modern property ID system will facilitate Banking and the financial services industry, Real Estate, Delivery services and all commerce.
(3) Ghana’s election should not be about electing a President and MPs only. The election process should include Measures and Propositions in each district or town where residents are empowered to vote to raise revenue as taxes for their own needed developmental projects.
Dr. Afari Djan obtained his PhD from the University of California and we are sure he can study what is done in the most affluent and innovative State in America, California, and set a good example for Ghana before his time ends. Democracy is new to the people of Ghana and he will leave a permanent legacy if he implements these suggested proactive changes.
We wish all Ghanaians a successful and peaceful elections on December 7, 2012. Whoever wins, may peace and prosperity follow and benefit the people.