Joana Opare, Board Member, National Peace Council addressing the meeting. Picture: ELVIS NII NOI DOWUONA
The National Peace Council (NPC) has called on state, religious, traditional and educational institutions to manage ethnic diversity at their various establishments for sustainable development.
A member of the Governing Board of the NPC, Joana Opare, who made the call, said it would lead to greater integration, tolerance, and peaceful coexistence among Ghanaians.
She was speaking on the theme; “Managing ethnic diversity in Ghana for sustainable development,” at a stakeholder engagement with drivers and market queens in Accra last Friday.
The engagement formed part of efforts by the council to promote peace to commemorate the International Peace Day, which is observed worldwide on September 21, each year.
The “Peace Day” established in 1981 by unanimous United Nations resolution provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to peace above all differences and to contribute to building a culture of peace.
Mrs Opare, however, said that managing ethnic diversities for sustainable peace required hard work from both the government and the citizenry.
She therefore encouraged the people to see each other as one adding that irrespective of tribal, ethnic or political affiliations “we are Ghanaians first”.
“The National Peace Council calls on Ghanaians, institutions of state and civil society to join forces to remove barriers to the realisation of a just, fair, open and inclusive society for all the peoples of Ghana,” Mrs Opare further explained.
For his part, the Head of Governance and Inclusive Development, United Nations Development Programme Edward Ampratwum, also stressed the importance for political entities and ordinary citizens to be mindful of their language.
“Hate speech, negative labeling, stereotyping among others can lead to violence, it is thus important to watch our language,” he explained.
Integral to the economy
In a similar vein, both the President of the Greater Accra Market Association, and the Welfare Chairman for the Ghana Private Road Transport Union at the Tema Station, Mercy Naa Afrowa Nee Djan and Kofi Afful respectively encouraged their members to live in harmony and perceive their neighbours as family and not members of various tribes.
Both leaders observed that the activities of their members played an integral part of the country’s economy for which reason they needed to be at peace with each other to ensure that the country thrived.
The Executive Secretary of the NPC, George Amoh facilitated a dialogue session with the participants to enable them to come out with issues that could pose a threat to peace in their respective work places.