• Prof. Emeritus Jeffrey Haynes
• Prof. Emeritus Jeffrey Haynes

Prof. Jeffery Haynes hails Ghana’s democracy

Professor Emeritus of Politics at the London Metropolitan University, United Kingdom, Jeffrey Haynes, has rated highly Ghana’s democratic credentials and its impact on peace and stability of the country.

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He noted that religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence among various groups in the country had added flavour to the nation’s democratic dispensation, making it a safe haven for investment and beacon of hope in Africa.

Prof. Emeritus Haynes made the remark in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra on Monday, April 17, 2023.

Prof. Haynes is the author of 60 books and more than 100 journal articles.

His most recent book is: Revolution and Democracy in Ghana:

The Politics of Jerry John Rawlings (Routledge, Contemporary African Politics Series, 2023) which would be launched at the British Council Hall on Wednesday,April 19, 2023.

The author stated that “the quality of democracy in the country is relatively good although nowhere in the world is democracy perfect; democracy is working to some extent and on the score of zero to 10, I will rate Ghana seven to 10”.

He further emphasised that “Ghana has got a good reputation globally and is seen as a stable country with relatively good harmony among groups of people, religious and other sectors of society”.

Prof. Emeritus Haynes indicated that the relative peace and stability being enjoyed was the country's strength which it could leverage to, for instance, suppress threats of violence particularly during election periods.

Constitution

Touching on the 1992 Constitution, Prof. Emeritus Haynes observed that although there were some ongoing discussions on various platforms for the document to be reviewed, particularly the excessive powers of the President, he was not sure “if the Constitution was re-written much will change”.

“Constitutions are only as good as the people who implement them.

So I'd be inclined to think that it comes back to having people in power who are clean and not corrupt," he said.

He equally called on the citizenry to ensure that the structures of democratic governance works well for instance ensuring checks and balances at a higher level and keeping the government on its toes.

Prof. Emeritus Haynes suggested that apart from the gains so far made in the country's democracy, it required that a lot more was done to address some human rights issues and weaknesses in the nation's democratic trajectory including accountability and media freedom.

Investment

On investment and how it could impact positively on addressing the economic challenges facing the country, he noted that “among African countries, Ghana has got a reputation as a country which is a safe haven for investors.

Foreign investors can make decent return on their capital, which is what they are looking for".

Author's interest

Prof. Emeritus Haynes’ interest in politics in Ghana began when he wrote a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) thesis on the topic:

“Rawlings and the Politics of Development Policy in Ghana, 1979-1986”.

He worked on the PhD between 1984 and 1988 and successfully completed it.

His interest was stimulated by the approach to politics of underdevelopment under the regime of Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings.

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