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Authoritarian regime not answer to security threats, economic challenges – US Ambassador

Madam Virginia E. Palmer, the United States (US) Ambassador to Ghana, has urged West African countries to reject authoritarian rule and have faith in democracy.

She said the failure of democratic governments to meet the needs of the people should not be a justification for coups in the region.

Speaking at a workshop for journalists in Accra, Madam Palmer said although recent coups in the Sahel appeared to have gained popularity among the people, it would not take long for the people to realise that resorting to the military would not address the problem.

‘When democratic governments fail to live up to expectation, the solution is actually more democracy not less,’ Madam Palmer said and rallied democratic governments in the Sahel to share economic dividends ‘equitably’.

‘Ghana has long been a regional example of stability and democratic success. But, as we’ve seen across the region, democracy is under threat and we need to work together to protect it,’ she said.

Madam Palmer applauded Ghanaian journalists
for their immense role in consolidating the country’s democracy and encouraged the media and civil society organisations to be relentless in their quest to protect democracy in the region.

She said the safety and freedom of journalists is ‘indispensable to the health of our democracies’.

‘It is our collective responsibility – governments, civil society, and the international community – to protect, support and champion the rights of journalists and media organisations,’ Madam Palmer said.

The United States Embassy is supporting the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) to train journalists on peaceful journalistic discourse ahead of the 2024 General Election.

The Project, dubbed ‘Journalists for Peaceful Discourse’ is on the theme: ‘promoting peaceful journalistic media platforms ahead of Election 2024’.

The training seeks to promote long-term learning for participants to contribute to upholding freedom of expression and credible polls.

It also seeks to share best practices on election coverage among jour
nalists and combat disinformation before, during, and after the elections.

Mr Albert Kwabena Dwumfour, President, GJA, said some 130 journalists had been trained under the project ahead of the 2024 General Election.

He said the training would among others promote professionalism in election reportage and encourage information sharing with election-related entities.

‘It is our hope that the objective of this project would help shape the media system and further reduce the excesses to the barest minimum,’ he said.

While encouraging journalists to exhibit professional standards in their work to ensure peaceful elections, Mr Dwumfour served notice that the GJA would not countenance any attack on journalists.

‘I wish to also send caution to those who assault the media that the GJA will not countenance any attack on journalists going into the elections as any such thing will be fiercely resisted as we have demonstrated in recent times,’ he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency