Department of Sociology and Anthropology Hosts National Security Forum on Campus

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology, in collaboration with the Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA) and the National Peace Council (NPC) has organised a two-day forum on national security to address security challenges confronting the nation. The forum was organised under the theme, “Ghana’s Peace and Security 60 years on: Successes, challenges and prospects.” In his opening remarks, the Head of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Dr. Brempong Osei-Tutu, thanked faculty members and students of the Department for their support in sustaining the forum over the years. He said the forum aimed at examining Ghana's security architecture and interrogating the role the various agencies have played in the past and examining the way forward for these agencies in ensuring a more peaceful environment that would enhance the country's socio-economic and political development. On his part, the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Prof. Francis Eric Amuquandoh, implored Ghanaians to refrain from acts that could dent the enviable reputation and image of the country. He called for a second look at the rising incidence of armed robbery, political vigilantism and mob injustice, to help restore sanity to the country. Opening the forum, the Deputy Minister of Interior, Hon. Henry Quartey, who represented the Minister for Interior, Hon. Ambrose Dery, explained that peace and stability were preconditions for sustainable national development of the country. Hon. Henry Quartey expressed the readiness of government to maintain law and order and deal ruthlessly with trouble makers in accordance with the laws. He noted that insecurity retarded the development of the nation and affected investor confidence in revamping the country's economy. On his part, the Deputy Minister for Defense, Major Derek Oduro (Rtd), observed that government was committed to preserving the environment and fighting the menace of illegal mining (Galamsey) tooth and nail. He noted that government would not renege on its mandate to provide adequate security for the citizenry. A former National Security Advisor, Brigadier General Nunoo Mensah, on his part, observed that before independence, the political atmosphere of Ghana was more sustainable than the present situation. He, however, expressed worry that state institutions had compromised their standards to the whims and caprices of political leaders. He called on the government to tap the experiences of people who could help the development of the nation, irrespective of their political affiliations. The Chairman of the National Peace Council, Most Rev. Professor Emmanuel Asante, stated that the scourge of unemployment among the youth was a threat to national security. Therefore, he appealed to the government to formulate an ironclad national policy on job creation to address the rising rate of unemployment among the teeming youth of the country. Prof Asante urged like- minded individuals and international development-oriented organisations to incorporate security consciousness into their social intervention policies and programmes to help maintain law and order in the country. Rev. Prof. Asante underscored the need for a national effort to jealousy guard the nation’s peace and stability credentials to attract the requisite investments to create jobs. The Head of the Department of Research at the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Centre (KAIPC), Dr. Kwesi Anning, commended the Department for the initiative and urged Civil Society Organizations to engage stakeholders on the need for peace and security. He also called on Ghanaians to note that “national peace is a shared responsibility and not the sole responsibility of the security agencies”. Dr. Anning concluded that, “The second step is to translate what has been discussed here into practical policy intervention. These deliberations give some seriousness and prudence to the problem of peace and security in Ghana”. Participants at the forum were drawn from the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Prisons Service, Immigration Service, Ghana National Fire Service, Bureau of National Security, Civil Society Organisations, political parties, second cycle institutions, youth groups, faculty and postgraduate students of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, UCC.