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US Ambassador urges West African countries to uphold democracy

March 19, 2024
US Ambassador urges West African countries to uphold democracy

Madam Virginia E. Palmer, the Ambassador to Ghana, has emphasized the importance of rejecting authoritarian rule and maintaining faith in democracy among West African countries. Speaking at a workshop for journalists in , Madam Palmer urged against resorting to military coups as a solution to governance challenges.

She emphasized that while democratic governments may sometimes fail to meet the needs of the people, this should not serve as justification for coups in the region. Madam Palmer highlighted the need for more democracy, not less, in addressing governance shortcomings.

Despite recent coups in the Sahel region gaining some popularity, Madam Palmer warned that military intervention would not ultimately resolve underlying issues. She called on democratic governments to share economic dividends equitably to prevent discontent among citizens.

Ghana, known for its stability and democratic success, was praised by Madam Palmer as a regional example. However, she emphasized the importance of protecting democracy across the region, acknowledging the role of Ghanaian journalists in consolidating the country's democratic gains.

Madam Palmer commended Ghanaian journalists for their contributions to democracy and encouraged the media and to remain vigilant in safeguarding democratic values. Stressing the indispensable role of journalists in promoting democracy, she called for collective efforts to protect their safety and freedom.

The United States Embassy is supporting the (GJA) in training journalists on peaceful journalistic discourse ahead of the 2024 General Election. The initiative, titled “Journalists for Peaceful Discourse,” aims to promote professionalism in election coverage, combat disinformation, and uphold freedom of expression.

Under the project, 130 journalists have been trained so far to contribute to credible and peaceful elections. Mr. Albert Kwabena Dwumfour, President of the GJA, emphasized the importance of professional standards in election reporting and warned against attacks on journalists, stating that such actions would be fiercely resisted.

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