Professor Kwasi Prempeh, the Executive Director of the Centre for Democratic Development-Ghana (CDD-Ghana), has tasked political parties to embrace strategic thinking in order to assess, view, and create future for themselves and the citizenry.
“Strategic thinking is a process that defines the manner in which people think about, assess, view, create the future for themselves and others an extremely effective, efficient and valuable tool,” he observed.
Prof Prempeh explained that political parties are regarded as an organisational set-up for hard thinking that drives growth and development, if their manifestos are gradually becoming important, there was the need to use it as vehicle for getting citizens’ inputs.
Prof Prempeh made the call in a panel discussion at a forum to mark the International Democracy Day, organised by CDD-Ghana which is celebrated around the world on September 15, each year established through resolution passed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007, encouraging governments to strengthen and consolidate democracy.
The forum, held under the theme: ‘Making democracy work for the people’, was part of the centre’s contribution to promoting democratic society peruses and delivers on inclusive development intended to trigger conversations about policy issues.
“In the past, manifestos did not use to matter very much as politicians just throw anything in to win an election, after they forget what is in the manifesto, however, gradually parties have realised they are roughly equally matched in the electorate.
“Political parties have come to the realisation strongholds only cannot make them win but appeal to marginal constituencies to win elections, appeal to the citizenry when in office use manifestos as governing document,” Prof Prempeh indicated.
Kinna Likimani, Director of Monitoring and Evaluation and Special Programmes at Odekro, said the citizenry needed to spend time deliberating on civic structure to sustain democracy by working with civil society organisations and attending assembly meetings to inform decision making process.
Dr Lloyd Amoah, Founding Director of the Centre for Asian Studies at the University of Ghana, observed that political parties should become less of election machines and become agents of development.
“Parties go to sleep because elections becomes main focus, when power is won, attention shifts to who gets what within the party, effect is lose focus on role in development processes, reconfiguration of total mindset and philosophy of political parties,” he noted.