Panellists at the Institute of International Affairs Ghana’s (GhIIA) webinar on the theme ‘2020 Elections in ECOWAS’ have called on various major multilateral, national and international organizations to take interest in elections in West Africa.
This is due to the possibility of the outcomes to have an “exponential impact on global peace and security”.
The webinar chaired by Mr Cherk Klutse hosted Dr Festus Aubyn from the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre and Dr Jean-Marc Akakpo, Kennesaw State University.
Dr Akakpo noted that inter alia, a significant portion of the migrant flows through the Sahara to North Africa were from western Sub-Saharan Africa.
Quoting from a recent report from the Africa Centre for Strategic Studies, he further noted that these flows are partly fuelling the Mediterranean migrant crisis.
Instability in countries like the Ivory Coast, Guinea or Burkina Faso could lead to a further exodus.
Also, Dr Aubyn says Guinea’s electoral challenges has led to mass emigration to Liberia. With six other West African countries conducting elections, there should be measures to curtail civil unrest.
In line with this both panellists, Aubyn and Akakpo noted that though the COVID-19 crisis was key and should be managed, it should not ordinarily be used as a basis to postpone elections.
The webinar, also addressed the questions of ‘3rd-termism’ in ECOWAS and Africa, the advanced median age of the contenders in elections vis-à-vis the demographic youth bulge, the impact of COVID-19 on elections and the lack of a female candidate for any of the high offices across the elections.
The webinar was organized by the AFRO POLLS WATCH initiative of the ghiia.org.
GhIIA.org is an Accra based, independent non-partisan think tank, with a core focus Ghanaian and ECOWAS International Relations Analysis. Its core thematic areas of research include International Trade and Economics, Foreign Policy and Diplomatic Practice, Diaspora Affairs, Strategic Studies.
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