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General News
EC officers sharpen skills ahead of 2008 elections 10/9/2007
Ho, Oct 8, GNA- All 200 Election Officers of the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC), are undergoing a series of training to sharpen their skills in election administration ahead of the 2008 presidential and parliamentary elections. The African Association of Electoral Authorities (AAEA) designed the course modules, which is divided into basic, intermediate and advance levels.

Dr Kwadwo Afari-Djan, EC Chairman, who opened the first two-week basic level course for 31 officers in Ho on Monday, said the programme would raise their competence professionally and ethically. He said the course was expected to grill the officers on election management, to raise the credibility of the processes. Dr Afari-Djan said all elections are important and must be approached with the same commitment to do the right thing. He said the approach of Election Officers should not be to satisfy the concerns of the political parties alone but crave also to live up to the expectation of the general public.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is funding the training sessions under its support for governance programme. Mr Eric Opoku, UNDP Governance Officer in Ghana, observed that conflicts in Africa and the rest of the world had often been caused by suspicions during elections and successions. He however commended the EC for managing over the years to build a "strong image as an independent and autonomous institution". Mr Opoku said the challenge to the EC now was to consolidate this "positive image of neutrality and independence and actually being impartial to all parties and the populace, despite its dependence on the central government for funding".

He said the election officers should be mindful of the images of conflicts that have resulted from poor conduct of elections to appreciate the need to ensure that elections were transparent. Mr Opoku said it was important for elections authorities to win the trust of all competing parties and relevant stakeholders in order to make its elections results credible, legitimate and acceptable to both winners and losers. Nana Amba Eyiaba I, a member of the Commission who presided said elections officers must be prepared to raise their knowledge to be abreast with the fast changing trends in elections management. Participants have been randomly picked to attend the courses in different batches in Ho for the Southern Zone, Kumasi, Central and either Sunyani or Tamale for the Northern sector. The course content includes concept of free and fair elections, profile of a Good Election Officer, Election Language and the electoral process from registration to results collation. 08 Oct 07Source:

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