A former Prime Minister (PM) of Canada and Chairman of the International Democratic Union (IDU), Stephen Harper, has described Ghana as the freest and most democratic society in Africa.
He said since the advent of the Fourth Republic, Ghana has become a different and a better kind of model for Africa and has kept pace with its motto of Freedom and Justice. Ghana, he said, was at the forefront of advancing the concept of free election, rule of law, free trade, market oriented growth and continental free trade.
Mr Harper, who was the 22nd PM of Canada, said this as the keynote speaker at a High-Level Public Lecture Series on Governance in Africa held at the Cedi Conference Centre of the University of Ghana in Accra on Wednesday (May 4).
The lecture was organised by the Young Democrat Union of Africa (YDUA), the youth wing of the Democrat Union of Africa (DUA) under the IDU in partnership with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, a German development foundation and the New Patriotic Party, a member of the IDU.
It was on the theme " Democracy and Geo-Politics; a Global Perspective on the Changing Dynamics of the International Order". It was attended by the leadership and members of the YDUA and UDA from Cote d'Ivoire, Namibia, Angola, Mozambique, Morocco, Liberia, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Ghana, leaders of the IDU, members of the diplomatic corps, some national executives of the NPP and some youth groups.
The IDU is an alliance of all centre-right political parties in the world of which the NPP is a member.
The event was also used to honour the former PM and the Chairman of the IDU and the Chief of Staff at the Presidency, Akosua Frema Opare-Osei, for their various contributions to the growth of the YDUA.
They were presented with plaques while Mr Harper was decorated with a Kente cloth.
Speaking on the theme, Mr Harper said any vibrant democracy had a strong centre-right effect in which was arguably democracy's oldest philosophy.
He noted that it was one of the political ideologies that had stood the test of time and anywhere it had been practised it had brought about tremendous economic growth and improvement in the lives of the people, expanding the frontiers of personal liberties.
He urged the youth not to subscribe to the current wave of coup d’états that had swept through the sub-region but to continue to uphold the ideals and principles of democracy to ensure personal freedoms, free expression, rule of law among others that were the basis of economic development.
The General Secretary of the NPP and Deputy Chairman of DUA, John Boadu, said it would be noticed that countries that had experienced tremendous development in the world were countries that practiced centre-right political ideology and cited countries such as the United Kingdom, German to buttress his point.
“It is even more gratifying to make the point that, despite our centre-right and capitalise orientation we in the NPP have introduced and successfully implemented almost all the pro-poor social intervention programmes witnessed in this country intended to mitigate the sufferings of the masses
He mentioned some of them as the free maternal care, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Free School Feeding Programme, and Free Senior High School (FSHS) Programme among others.
The YDUA President, Louisa Atta-Agyemang, noted that all over the world the dynamics of democracy and Geopolitics kept changing that affected wide range of issues and various philosophies of politics and their variables adopted to such changes.
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