The Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has launched its 20th anniversary celebrations in a grand -style under the theme: “A Night with the Founding Fathers”.
Over the years, this renowned Think Tank has harnessed the power of evidence-based research to advance democracy, good governance, and inclusive economic growth; not only in Ghana, but for nations across the African continent.
More so, through hard work, dedication, consistency and constant innovation, CDD-Ghana has attained an enviable position as a leading think tank in democracy and good governance in the country and beyond.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, the Executive Director of CDD-Ghana, Prof. Henry Kwasi Prempeh, noted that CDD-Ghana has played a tremendous role for the last two decades to help chart the path to democracy in Ghana.
“The purpose of this anniversary celebration is two-fold: to reflect on our work these past two decades and to recommit ourselves and even delve deeper into our mandate to promote democracy, good governance, and inclusive development in Ghana and Africa.
We are happy, thus, to announce a restructuring of our programme areas into 5 new segments: Political and Constitutional Governance, Social Inclusion and Equity, Economic and Corporate Governance, Justice, Peace and Security and Civil Society,” he elucidated.
According to him, when CDD-Ghana commenced operations two decades ago, Ghana’s democratic project under the Fourth Republic was only five years old and the prospects for democracy were still uncertain.
“Since then, Ghana’s democratic journey has crossed many significant milestones: the two-term presidential term limit has been dutifully respected; multi-party politics have been institutionalized, three electoral turnovers; the space for private media has expanded dramatically; and libel has been de-criminalized.
These achievements have helped to establish Ghana as a leader among new democracies. Even as democracy backslides in other parts of the world, Ghana’s forges ahead. Significant challenges remain, but we cannot fail to acknowledge the progress since 1993,” he explained.
According Prof. Henry Kwasi Prempeh, under their Political and Constitutional Governance programme, the Think Tank will continue to work to secure and increase the integrity and credibility of the institutions and processes of democratic representation.
By including local and national elections and election management; citizen and community access to and participation in electoral processes; and the responsiveness and accountability of political institutions at both local and national levels.
“We also aim to leverage our experience and convening power to increase the representation, participation, and impact of civil society and civic actors in the policy space and public governance by leading and supporting diverse collaborations with other civil society organizations and media, and organizing and managing advocacy coalitions,” he added.
In addition to our five programme areas the Center will continue to implement two special projects: the Afrobarometer project which collects public opinion data on political and socioeconomic issues in more than 35 African countries, currently headquartered here at CDD; and our Regional Initiatives like the West African Election Observers Network (WAEON) and other Africawide initiatives of the Center.
These initiatives remain a critical part of our efforts to expand our Africa footprint and to systematically share our knowledge, skills and experiences with other African countries
Dr. Franklin Oduro, Deputy Executive Director of the Center noted that the Center has been widely recognized for its strong capacity for research, analysis and advocacy toward good governance, and inclusive development and that over the past two decades, the Center has chalked many successes and remained committed to its founding vision to support and promote the development of a free, peaceful and well-governed society based on the rule of law, justice, integrity in public administration and equal opportunity for all.
Achievements of CDD-Ghana
In the course of the two decades, CDD-Ghana has emerged as a leader in the generation and dissemination of high-quality public opinion surveys and other relevant data for effective advocacy and policy-making in Ghana and across the continent.
They have led in the mobilization and organization of civil society voice and activism on key national issues through the building of effective national coalitions and networks, and have provided important technical and analytic input for relevant public institutions and committees of Parliament.
They have also championed decentralized and inclusive local governance. They have also championed the cause of the marginalized and vulnerable in society.
In the area of elections, they have worked tirelessly and consistently to enhance voter participation in elections and improve the credibility of our elections.
Above all, they have, as an organization, nurtured and opened up career paths for scores of democracy, governance and social accountability enthusiasts, analysts and advocates of good governance and inclusive development.
The Center at the official launch of its 20th Anniversary also celebrated their founding fathers whose work and toil saw the Centre grow over the years. They are Professor E. Gyimah-Boadi, Professor Baffour Agyeman Duah, and Mr William Asiedu Yeboah.
He is founder and former executive director of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana).
He is also a co-founder of Afrobarometer, a pan-African survey research project measuring the political, economic and social atmosphere in African countries.
A former professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Ghana, Legon, he has held faculty positions at universities in the United States, including the School of International Service of the American University (Washington, D.C.), and fellowships at the Center for Democracy, Rule of Law and Development (Stanford University), the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the U.S.
Professor Baffour Agyeman Duah
Professor Baffour is a co-founder of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana).
He is currently the Chief Executive Officer at the John A. Kufuor Foundation. He worked for about a decade with the United Nation as Senior Governance Adviser in Tanzania and as Senior Special Adviser at the United Nations Mission in Liberia.
He also served as Elections Consultant for the National Democratic Institute of USA in Liberia and Sierra Leone, and for the Commonwealth in Zimbabwe and Cameroon. A former university professor, he has taught in North Carolina and served as Fulbright Professor at the Legon Center for International Affairs, University of Ghana. An advocate for democracy and good governance, Prof Baffour has made numerous appearances on Ghana’s Radio and Television, Voice of American and BBC to comment on Governance and Democracy in Africa.
Mr William Asiedu Yeboah
William Yeboah is a co-founder of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana).
He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (UK) and currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Negotiated Benefits Trust Company.