UNDP, UNFPA, others launch project to address root causes of localised, spillover conflicts

A project, which focuses on preventing and addressing the root causes of localised and spillover conflicts as well as vulnerabilities to violent extremism in northern Ghana, has been launched.

The project dubbed: ‘Enhancing social cohesion and social contract through the empowerment of women and youth in three regions of Ghana’, is to enable functional spaces for dialogues and mediation for conflict prevention and peacebuilding.

It is also to empower local governance institutions, actors, and customary governance structures to ensure inclusive governance, economic development and quality service delivery as well as enhance the resilience and agency of women and youth for their full and meaningful participation to contribute constructively to local governance decision-making and conflict prevention and peacebuilding processes.

The project, funded by the United Nations Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund, is being implemented over a period of two years in eight districts in the Upper East, Upper West and
North East Regions.

The districts are Bongo, Bawku West, Garu, Wa West, Sissala West, Yunyoo-Nasuan, Chereponi, and Bunkpurugu-Nankpanduri.

The implementing agencies are the United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the National Peace Council and local government authorities.

Mr Charles Abani, United Nations Resident Coordinator, Ghana, speaking during the launch of the project in Tamale, assured participants of the commitment of the international community to continue to support Ghana to remain peaceful and as a shining example to the rest of the sub-region.

Ghana has been upheld as a model of stability in a sub-region beset by political instability and a new wave of unconstitutional changes of government primarily through military coups and a surge of violent extremism in countries such as Mali, Burkina Faso, northern Togo, and Benin.

Despite being relatively politically stable and peaceful, Ghana is affected by many localised conflicts that continue to put increasin
g strain on the existing national architecture for peace and security, hence the project.

Mr Abani said this was the first time Ghana was benefiting from the Secretary General’s Peacebuilding Fund, adding that through the project, the agencies were taking a proactive step to focus on agenda for peace and the absence of violent extremism.

Dr Angela Lusigi, Resident Representative, UNDP said it was a strategic endeavour towards enhancing social cohesion and social contract, through empowerment of women and youth in the beneficiary districts.

She said, ‘Imagine a future where every woman and young person has the power to counteract violence with peace, and extremism with unity. This project is our blueprint for that future. It addresses the root causes of localised and spillover conflicts, and vulnerabilities to violent extremism to keep Ghana’s democracy and peace strong.’

She added that, ‘By empowering our women and youth, we are taking proactive steps towards a safer and more inclusive world.’

Alhaji Sha
ni Alhassan Saibu, Northern Regional Minister said the project was a step in the right direction as it aimed to build resilience and encourage active engagement in peacebuilding and conflict prevention.

He urged all in the beneficiary districts to fully participate in the implementation of the project to optimise its advantages and contribute to the overall objective of promoting peace, stability, and prosperity in the area.

Naana Eyiah, Deputy Minister for the Interior lauded the project saying it complemented government’s commitment to promoting peace in the country.

Madam Sena Siaw-Boateng, Chief Director, Ministry of National Security said the project had come at a crucial time and reflected the commitment of all stakeholders in fostering peace and social cohesion.

She said the Ministry had undertaken several projects and activities as well as empowering women and youth through skills training so that they did not fall prey to extremist tendencies.

Source: Ghana News Agency