THE Annual conference of the Democratic Union of Africa (DUA), which comprises of all centre-right political parties on the continent has been held in Accra.
It was hosted by the New Patriotic Party (NPP), which is a member and attended by notable personalities like Ugandan opposition leader, Dr Kizza Besigye who chairs the union.
This year’s conference was held on theme: “Sustaining Democracy and Economic Development in Africa - the Centre-Right Way”.
Delivering the keynote address, the flag bearer of the NPP for the 2012 Presidential Elections, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, said his quest to lead the country was not for his selfish gains.
According to him, the NPP is determined to succeed creating a free and fair society of opportunities and prosperity for all Ghanaians.
Nana Akufo-Addo observed that the NPP, having endured the slimmest electoral loss in the country’s election history in 2008 and their role in expanding the frontiers of democracy, deserved to win the 2012 polls.
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“At least those who observed our elections in 2008, know that I have personally tasted the painful experience of losing an election by the slimmest of margins in Africa’s history, 0.46 per cent (some 40,000 votes), after leading the first round of the ballot by over 100,000 votes. I am sure that you will all agree with me that it is about time that I taste some success, as well. But, the success that we seek is not of a personal or partisan kind,” he said.
Nana Akufo-Addo said the eight years that the party had to govern the country saw a massive transformation in the lives of many Ghanaians, hence the need for the party to be returned to power.
“Today, all that showcases Ghana as a serious nation that provides a safety net for the vulnerable and is dedicated to the welfare of her people stands in the name of the NPP; the National Health Insurance Scheme, the school feeding programme, the national youth employment programme, the capitation grant, the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), and the mass transit programme, that makes transportation easy and affordable for the ordinary citizen,” he said.
He said the center-right political ideology was the way for many African nations to broaden their societies, foster democratic tenets and give the citizenry an opportunity to contribute to national development.
According to Nana Akufo-Addo, the ideology also opens up the economies of the individual countries for the participation of the private sector to empower the citizenry.
He said “an effective way to sustaining democracy and development in Africa is to promote a business-friendly environment that rewards creativity and enterprise and those who play by the rules. The centre-right way is to build an environment in which government and regulatory policies enhance rather than inhibit or frustrate trade, commerce and investments. As apostles of the rule of law, our governments ensure the confidence of the investor community that their investments would be safe.”
The NPP leader reminded fresh voters in the upcoming elections to be reminded of the struggles that political leaders like himself had endured to ensure that basic human right principles and freedoms were restored from the hands of military tyranny.
While calling for active participation in the free-to-speak environment that the country was currently experiencing, he asked for circumspection and responsibility.
He challenged member countries of the union to impress on the African Union to adopt democratic means of governance in their respective countries.
“We, as centre-right parties, must encourage AU member countries to demonstrate a commitment to strengthening and protecting the institutions and culture of democratic governance; respecting human rights, religious freedom, and the rights of the individual and minorities; building strong market economies and facilitating the free movements of people, knowledge, goods and services across member states. Africa’s small countries will continue to struggle if they do it alone, but the accelerated economic integration of committed nations will breathe new life into the AU and deliver the benefits of African integration to the doorsteps of the Africans,” he said.
The centre-right political ideology, also referred to as the moderate right, describes adherence to views leaning to the right but close to the centre on the left-right political spectrum. The centre-right involves the acceptance of a degree of hierarchy in society.
It is based on the claim that inferior quality behaviour such as laziness and decadence will lead people to inferior situations in comparison to others. The contemporary centre right, unlike the far-right, usually claims that this is not innate and that people can end their behavioural inferiority through changing their habits and choices of behaviour.
The Chairman of the NPP, Mr Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, who opened the conference, said the African sub region was one of the most difficult areas for the centre-right ideology to thrive.
As a result, the annual meeting presented a platform where member parties meet to share ideas on the way forward.
According to Mr Obetsebi, parties also come forth with success stories and the challenges they face in respective countries.
The International Secretary of the Conservative Party (UK), Mrs Philippa Broom, reiterated calls to enhance Ghana’s democracy, rule of law and accountability,
On his part, the Secretary General of International Democratic Union (IDU), Mr Eirik Moen, urged other developing countries to emulate Ghana’s democratic achievements.
Mr Moen was optimistic that Ghana would once again go through the December 7 Polls as a peaceful and united country.
Written By; Eric, Becky & Joesphine