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Friday, April 12, 2024

The Fourth Republic has been resilient – Zanetor Rawlings

The Member of Parliament for the Klottey Korle constituency in the Greater Accra region, Dr. Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings has complimented the resilience of the 4th Republic, stating that the several transitions of power from one elected party to another as well as the current hung parliament are a testament to the public’s changing view on how democracy should play out.

Dr. Agyeman-Rawlings made the assertion when she spoke as a panelist at the Munich Security Conference held in Munich, Germany from February 16 to 18, 2024.

Dr. Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings also spoke about the need for clear legislation on campaign financing to prevent illicit money from being used to bankroll political campaigns.

The MP said the democratic reversals in parts of the West African sub-region are a direct result of the failure of some governments to provide inclusivity, good governance, and essential amenities to their citizens in a timely and equitable fashion.

She indicated that the failure of governments to deliver on good governance offers the opportunity for anyone who offers a bit of what a community needs to win their trust.

“Someone who has an agenda comes into a community that does not have water and electricity, provides water and somehow makes them have access to electricity, whether it is by generators or whatever it is; that community does not see that person as a terrorist, does not see that person as a violent extremist. In spite of whatever criteria we use to judge who those people are, if governments fail to actually deliver on good governance, what it keeps doing is further eroding the trust that people will have in the system we call democracy.”

On the issue of the dangers of AI and fake news as a tool for derailing our democratic processes, she pointed out that Ghana’s population of about 33 million has a very high mobile phone penetration which allows for easy dissemination of news (fake or real) necessitating the need for the country to intensify cybersecurity efforts.

Speaking on the topic, ‘Autocratic Trade Trap: Has the West lost its moral compass?’ Dr. Agyeman-Rawlings referred to the need for companies in the advanced economies to do technology exchange by building the capacity of countries with less endowed technology and by so doing develop technology that is green and renewable.

The essence of a moral compass, she said, is to what extent such countries that are more developed have the conscience to say a certain percentage of what we are doing is not going to be about profits, it is going to be about equity, it is going to be about how we try to level the playing field. The reality is that Africa produces less than ten per cent of the world’s global emissions and yet it is the most vulnerable.

On the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, Dr. Agyeman-Rawlings was elected a co-chair of the Global Network of Women Legislators in Defence, Security and Peace (WLID). The WLID is a growing network of more than 50 legislators from over 25 countries on four continents.

The WLID is an initiative to harness the experiences of women legislators who are active in policy debates related to defence, security, and peace in order to:

•      exchange approaches,

•      provide mentorship,

•      share information on legislative frameworks,

•      identify supportive interventions,

•      provide research support to further enhance the contribution of women to more inclusive, peaceful, and prosperous societies.

High-level personalities who attended the Munich Conference included President Akufo-Addo of Ghana, Vice-President Kamala Harris of the United States, Antony Blinken, United States Secretary of State, former United States Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

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