EU Ambassador to Ghana on working visit to Upper West Region
ACCRA, Ghana, February 16, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Head of the EU Delegation to Ghana Ambassador Claude Maerten has paid a working visit to the Upper West Region of Ghana to hold discussions with the regional authorities and officials of the Electoral Commission and the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) on decentralisation issues and the preparation of the 2012 general elections.
During the two-day visit, February 13 – 142012, the Ambassador and his team paid a courtesy call on the Upper West Regional Minister Alhaji Issahaku Salia and the Wa Municipal Chief Executive Officer to discuss issues on decentralisation. They interacted with the staff at the Regional Coordinating Council and later met with some Regional and District officials of the EC including Hajia Saidatu Maida, a Commissioner of the EC, and Mr. Mahama Yahaya, the Regional Director of the EC in Wa.
The Ambassador also went on a field trip to some polling stations in the municipality of WA and later met with officials of the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), Mrs. Augustina A. Akumanyi, NCCE Deputy Chairman, Operations and Mr. Ban Banye, NCCE Regional Director. A community Durbar was later held in his honour on February 14, 2012 at Kpangu or Kpongu hosted by the chief of Naa Seidu Briamah Kube 1
In brief remarks at the durbar, the EU Ambassador praised Ghana for its democratic credentials recognised worldwide as the beacon of democracy in Africa. He said it was for these reasons that the EU found it necessary to support the EC and NCCE, especially with the introduction of the new Biometric Voter system to enable them to come out with a credible biometric voter register. According to the EU Ambassador, this would not only lead to free, fair and credible general elections on December2012 but would further enrich Ghana's democratic gains across the world.
Hajia Saadatu Maida, the EC Commissioner in charge with the supervision of the Upper West Region expressed her gratitude to the EU for its long standing support . She said the EC would not leave any stone unturned in its quest to migrate successfully into the electronic voting system. She added that with the support of the EU, training would be provided for their staff including the thousand of officials who would be recruited to help carrying out the exercise. She noted that the number of polling stations had increased to 23,000 to make voting more accessible to the people.