US Ambassador Robert Porter Jackson has reiterated the United States’ commitment to support Ghana’s efforts to hold credible and nonviolent 2016 Presidential elections.
Ambassador Jackson made the pledge at an event celebrating the launch of the Electoral Commission’s new communications strategy on Friday, August 26.
The strategy, supported by the U.S. government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), increases the transparency and effectiveness of the Electoral Commission.
Strategy tools include training journalists and polling officials, using social media, and developing a new SMS election platform.
“I would like to take this opportunity to emphasize the United States’ support for fair, free, and peaceful elections in Ghana,” said Ambassador Jackson at the event.
“We are working toward these goals with a wide range of partners.”
Other activities the U.S. government is supporting to promote these goals are:
- Enhancing the transparency and credibility of the Electoral Commission through training and technical support;
- Supporting the Ghana Center for Democratic Development, an independent, nonpartisan Ghanaian non-profit organization, to study election reforms, provide civic education, encourage voter participation, and oversee a comprehensive domestic election observation program;
- Supporting the United Nations Development Program to provide training on peace messaging for the National and Regional Peace Councils, the media, traditional and religious leaders, the judiciary, the police, women’s organizations, and youth and civil society organizations; and to host a national-level dialogue with key political actors;
- Partnering with the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding to establish early warning and response systems to mitigate electoral violence;
- Providing grants to Ghanaian NGOs, civil society organizations, and community-based organizations that promote more inclusive and peaceful elections;
- Training youth leaders on digital solutions to address issues such as voter apathy, election violence, and lower participation by women;
- Training journalists on responsible election reporting;
- Deploying U.S. Embassy election observers throughout Ghana on Election Day.
In total, the United States is spending more than $5.7 million to support Ghana’s 2016 Presidential Elections.