A two-day capacity building workshop has been organised to train Municipal and District Chief Executives (MDCEs) in the Eastern Region on conflict management and reporting. The programme which was organised by a collaboration between National Peace Council and University of Cape Coast on one hand and the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Decentralization and the Regional Coordinating Council on the other hand was aimed at equipping MDCEs with conflict Resolution Techniques to help them manage it in their Municipal/District Assemblies ( MDAs) and foster development.
In his welcome address, the Honourable Eastern Regional Minister, Mr. Seth Kwame Acheampong indicated that as Political Heads in the respective assemblies and chairman of the Security Council in the Districts it was important to be equipped with the requisite skills to be able to handle and prevent conflicts.
Hon. Acheampong commended the National Peace Council and the University of Cape Coast for collaborating with the relevant authorities like the Ministry of Local Government Rural Development and Decentralisation to ensure the success of the program.
He was hopeful that by the end of the training, all MMDCEs would be well versed in the use of non-violent strategies in response to conflicts.
He therefore encouraged all participants to be committed to the workshop in order to receive all the benefits associated with it, bearing in mind that conflict is an inevitable occurrence in any society and that it could manifest internally or externally.
Rev. Dr. Ernest Adu-Gyamfi, the Chairman of National Peace Council, opined that Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals, which seeks to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development would be achieved if nations worked towards a significant reduction in violence and strengthened relevant national institutions.
To this effect, he noted that the Ghana Shared Growth Development Agenda 2010/2011 and 2014/2015, states the need to end inter and intra ethnic conflicts, chieftaincy and political disputes as a means of ensuring a reduction in conflicts, thereby promoting economic and national development.
Rev. Dr. Adu Gyamfi described the role of MDCEs in resolving conflicts as “critical” considering its’ potential contribution to reducing poverty with the understanding that “poverty increases societies vulnerability to conflict whiles conflict itself generates poverty.”
He therefore cautioned the MDCEs to be mindful of the statements they make in public so as to not cause tension or escalate violence in their jurisdiction.
He was optimistic that the workshop would make it possible for them to develop the appropriate mechanisms needed to respond to potential or ongoing conflicts in their locations because it would enhance their capacity to identify early warning signs of conflicts, Integrate conflict sensitivity into developments as well as improve capacity to deal with and speak on conflict issues from an informed position.
The participants were taking through concepts of conflict and peace and their implications for development, Analysis of conflict (sources, triggers, causes and consequences), tools for conflict prevention, management, resolution and transformation, Conflict early warning and response mechanisms.
Other topics treated included vigilantism and its related offenses, a code of conduct to guide political parties in the eradication of vigilantism, integrating peace in development planning and implementation at the MMDAs and conflict reporting.