The National Peace Council (NPC) Friday launched the Peace Fund, to mobilise financial resources to supplement government’s limited budgetary allocation, for enhanced peace building in Ghana.
Minister for Defence, Dominic Nitiwul who represented President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to officially launch the fund in Accra, said it was the onerous duty of government to perform any duty that would advance the peace and security of the country.
The theme for the launch was: “Promoting National Peace and Cohesion through a Sustainable Peace Fund.”
At the event, individual donations including a GHS50,000 initial seed money from President Akufo-Addo were made to the Fund.
Mr Nitiwul recalled that 15 years ago the government of former President John Agyekum Kufuor, in pursuit of securing sustainability of Ghana’s peace and development established the NPC.
He said the people’s effort to maintain the peace in the country had earned Ghana the accolade of a peaceful nation with a stable democracy having conducted eight elections, and even changing from one party to the other with little or sometimes no problems at all.
Therefore, there was no doubt that the country continues to enjoy significant improvement on the global peace index.
“Indeed, for three consecutive times, Ghana had come top as the most peaceful country in the Sub-region of West Africa” while the latest global index rated the country for the first time as the second most peaceful country in Africa,” Mr Nitiwul said.
He reaffirmed the country’s determination to sustain its status as the beacon of democracy in the world, but said regardless of these commendable strides, Ghana was still confronted with some challenges that threatened those gains.
The Minister said the NPC Act 818 passed by Parliament in 2011, received massive support from both majority and minority in the then Chamber, and recalled how the NPC since its inception in 2006 played a key role in the governance arrangement of the country.
He used the occasion to applaud the efforts of the NPC in the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts to building sustainable peace, especially during the country’s elections in 2016 and 2020, and in other protracted chieftaincy conflicts.
Mr Nitiwul underscored the importance of establishing the Peace Fund and called on all to invest in it to ensure peace across all sectors, adding, that that was one sure way of realising the Sustainable Development Goal 16, which seeks to build resilience and strong institutions for sustainable peace.
He encouraged all, including government businesses, investors, development partners, churches, mosques, media and individuals to support the initiative of the NPC to raise the GHS 10 million target set for the launch.
The Minister also charged the Board of the NPC to ensure that the administration of the Fund meet the international and the country’s financial regulations, to ensure confidence in the management of the Fund, but said “having studied the framework for the operations of the Fund, I have every confidence that contributions to the Fund would be efficiently utilized for the benefit of sustainable peace and development of our country”.
Rev. Dr Ernest Adu-Gyamfi, Chairman of the Governing Board of the NPC, told the story of the Council, its challenges of which funding was key, and recounted the numerous successes chalked by both its past and present leadership, and thanked the government for the opportunity given to establish the fund to support the work of the Council.
There were solidarity messages from the business community, the United Nations Development Programme Ghana, The Ministry of National Security as well as Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, which pledged the unflinching support of the stakeholders to the NPC and the fund.