Benjamin Kofi Quashie (left), Founder and Executive Chairman of BKQ Foundation, at the International Peace Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa after being awarded as the Peace Ambassador
Benjamin Kofi Quashie (left), Founder and Executive Chairman of BKQ Foundation, at the International Peace Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa after being awarded as the Peace Ambassador

Africans urged to consider elections as beacon of hope

The Founder and Executive Chairman of the BKQ Foundation, Benjamin Kofi Quashie, has called on Africans to consider elections as a beacon of hope, a celebration of freedom, and a testament to the enduring power of peace and democracy.


He, therefore, emphasised the importance of fostering an environment of peace, unity, inclusivity, mutual respect and dialogue as it was during such times that tensions often ran high, and divisions within communities could deepen.

“As responsible citizens, it is our duty to engage in meaningful conversations that seek to bridge these divides and build bridges of understanding. Without peace and a sense of security, the very foundation of our democracy is at risk of crumbling,” he stressed.

Mr Quashie made the call during a solidarity message on behalf of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) at the International Peace Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa. The speech was to show the NDC’s and Ghana’s support to South Africa as it heads to the polls on May 29, 2024, to select its next leader.


Mr Quashie intimated that democracy was not just a system of government, but a promise of equality and the power of the people, adding that the utmost priority in any democratic process was the people whose mandate leaders sought to form a government that would ultimately serve them.

“Today, as South Africa stands at the crossroads of democracy, let us reaffirm our commitment to the principles that unite us—principles that put our people and their collective best interests first. Let us honour the sacrifices of those who came before us by exercising our right to vote with wisdom, courage and integrity,” he said.

To that end, he said, it was important that the country did everything possible to ensure that people were able to go through the process of election seamlessly, without any eventualities.

Mr Quashie further described this year as a watershed moment for Africa’s democracy, stressing that 19 countries were gearing up for elections. He added that it had become evidently clear that the continent was firmly committed to multi-party democracy - a development he described as good news because it was a battle of ideas and a healthy competition over who could serve the people better.

“Such competitions afford our people the opportunity to make sound choices, and to a large extent, the presence of such healthy political competition serves as a form of check on incumbents to do their best. We must be proud of this, for in democracy's dance, every voice finds its sway, and liberty's song paints the colours of the day,” he said. 


He used the opportunity to highlight the similarities between Ghana and South Africa, making reference to both nations’ struggle for freedom under visionary leaders and commended the countries on having conducted peaceful elections since 1992.

“I must commend the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa for the work done so far and further encourage the electoral management body to be diligent, transparent and cooperative with all stakeholders to deliver a very credible election once again,” he added.

Mr Quashie also urged politicians to prioritise the safety and well-being of all individuals involved by running clean campaigns in the spirit of fairness, transparency and accountability.

“We cannot afford to let violence, intimidation or manipulation mar the electoral process. Our commitment to upholding the rule of law and respecting democratic principles is what sets us apart as a society that values peace and progress,” he said. 

Post elections

He also encouraged Africans to look beyond the elections and remain vigilant in safeguarding the gains made during the campaign. “The real work begins after the ballots are cast and counted. We must hold our leaders accountable for their promises, and work together towards building a future that is characterised by prosperity, equality and justice for all,” he says.

He stressed that promoting the nexus between peace, security and development was not just a lofty ideal but also a fundamental requirement for a thriving and harmonious society. 
“We must strive to create a world where the pursuit of political power does not come at the expense of the common good. Let us stand united in our commitment to building a future where every individual has the opportunity to live in peace and prosperity,” he stressed.

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