Professor Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi – Co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Afrobarometer
The co-founder and chairman of the board of Afrobarometer, a pan-African research network, Professor Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi, advocated the creation of a group for monitoring democratic governance and crisis intervention in the Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Such a body, he noted, should include retired presidents, military and security chiefs, academics, business leaders and civic leaders to, among other things, monitor compliance. ECOWAS and African Union standards of democracy and good governance during elections.
He said the group would also act on early warning signals of threats to democratic governance in the sub-region.
Professor Gyimah-Boadi made this suggestion when he presented a paper on âDemocratic decline in West Africa: nature, implications for stability and development, remediesâ, during the plenary session of the Kofi Forum. Annan on Peace and Security (KAPS). in Accra last Wednesday.
The two-day program, jointly organized by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center (KAIPTC) and the Kofi Annan Foundation (KAF) in Geneva, focuses on the theme:
âDemocracy and Governance in the Context of Complex Crises in Africaâ.
The forum is Africa’s largest forum addressing contemporary issues of peace and security on the continent.
According to him, facing the “democratic setback” in the sub-region requires strengthening the rule of law, responsible governance and conflict management in peacetime and before conflicts.
âPerhaps the time has come for ECOWAS to limit the presidential term as a constitutional standard in the sub-region by taking note of Afrobarometer data, including consistently high levels of support for the standard,â a- he declared.
Professor Gyimah-Boadi said that it is also necessary to intensify civic and democratic education, because democracy cannot be maintained without demands.
“We must deliberately inculcate the deep values ââof democracy such as tolerance, inclusion, minority protection, among others, and also address the inclusive deficits pervasive in West African countries,” a- he declared.
In this regard, he said, there was a need to address the participation of women and youth in representation, gaps in dividend distribution while considering capping the maximum age at which individuals can be eligible to run for president taking into account the young age of the West. African populations.
Quality of elections
To stop and reverse the decline in the quality of elections in West Africa, Professor Gyimah-Boadi suggested strengthening the independence and technical capacities of electoral management bodies.
He said that between and beyond the elections, there would also be a need to strengthen the capacity of individual states to self-monitor the progress of democratic governance and internal self-review.