Former President Kufuor taking a look at the plaque of Birgit Storgaad placed on the wall of the conference room after the unveiling
The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) Ghana, a public policy organization, has officially named its conference room after the late Danish envoy to Ghana, Birgit Storgaad for her excellent contributions to the democratic process of Ghana.
Birgit Storgaad served as Danish Ambassador to Ghana from 1994 to 1998 and helped to promote the dialogue and inclusiveness in politics as against the existing political ideology at the time which allowed only members of the then ruling PNDC, headed by former President Rawlings which later metamorphosed into NDC, to air their views on national issues, with members of the opposition having little to say.
The late ambassador accordingly worked tirelessly with the IEA, which was at the time a young institution, to bring political parties’ leaders together to dialogue on national issues.
Board Chairman of IEA, Dr. Charles Mensah, in an address at the opening of the conference room named: “Ambassador Birgit Storgaad Dialogue Centre, pointed out the important role played by the late ambassador in shaping Ghana’s democracy after the 1992 general elections.
At the time when the country had just returned from a period of military rule and there was confusion among the masses about the likelihood of the country sinking back into dictatorial regime, Birgit Storgaad, through her spirit of humanism, fought alongside IEA to ensure that Ghana’s democracy was one characterized by open dialogue and negotiations instead of unnecessary interparty rivalry as was the case, according to him.
He said the former envoy called for reconciliation and cooperation among the leadership of the country, adding that the late envoy realized that dialogue could achieve a lot for Ghana.
Dr Mensah further said “she worked with us to construct informal channels to support the country’s leaders to dialogue with each other.”
“Birgit Storgaad at the time was of the view that Ghana’s ‘infant’ democracy could degenerate into conflict if the leadership do not promote inclusiveness.
“Birgit Storgaad more than walked the talk and left us with a better country.”
Tributes were paid to the late envoy by high-profile personalities in Ghana, including former President John Agyekum Kufuor, Speaker of Parliament, Doe Adjaho, Majority Leader in Parliament, Alban Bagbin, among others.
Ex-President Kufuor, in his tribute, stated that “the late ambassador was a great human-being.”
Also in attendance were Else-Marie Storgaad-Fog, sister of the late ambassador, Tove Degnbol, current Danish Ambassador to Ghana, General Secretary of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, Members of the diplomatic corps, Members of Parliament and judges.
BY Melvin Tarlue