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Lord Ahmad urges Commonwealth nations to uphold accountability

By
Iddi Yire, GNA

Accra, July 18, GNA –
Lord Tariq Ahmad, the British Foreign Office Minister of State for Commonwealth
and the United Nations, has urged member states of the Commonwealth to uphold
probity and accountability to help strengthen democratic governance.

He said good
principles of democracy ensures that there was an increasing levels of
accountability and transparency; and as such, if these principles were adhere
to, there would be sustainable democracies across Africa as well as a better
future to build upon.

The Commonwealth of
Nations (formerly the British Commonwealth), also known as simply the
Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of 52 member states
including Ghana that are mostly former territories of the British Empire.

Lord Ahmad made this
call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra during a forum
organised by TEDx and hosted by the British High Commission.

The forum dubbed
“Africa’s Young Commonwealth” aimed at discussing the relevance of the
Commonwealth, its opportunities and the role of the youth in ensuring that the
objectives of the Commonwealth are achieved.

Lord Ahmad, who was on
a three-day visit to Ghana, noted that every member state of the Commonwealth
subscribed to the importance of good governance; however, any member that does
not subscribe, ‘feels is best served in serving itself’.

He said there were
more opportunities Commonwealth member states could leverage on, if they worked
collectively and strengthen their relations.

He again noted that
Commonwealth had recognized Ghana’s sustainable democracy; as the nation could
boast of seven credible democratic elections, three changes of governments,
coupled with the respect of the democratic mandate being given each party.

“For democracy to be
sustainable you must start on a foundation of respecting results and we have
seen that in Ghana,” he added.

Lord Ahmad urged all
governments to subscribe to these values, as there was always room for
improvement.

He told GNA that there
was also a need for nations to be focus, build transparency in decision making
and in terms of how procurement works in the supply chain; stating that “these
are all opportunities to build for the future”.

Mr Elijah Amoo Addo, a
Ghanaian Chef and Founder of the Food for All Africa Programme, also told GNA
that through Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain decided to reward
amazing youth across member states.

He said fortunately
due to the concept of their programmes and models they run; as it could be
easily replicated across member countries, it gave him the opportunity to
receive the Queen’s Young Leader’s Award.

Mr Addo said the
programme which was built on advocacy against food wastage, was a national food
recovery project to build West Africa’s first food bank in Ghana.

He said this would
create efficiency and sustainable means of nutrition for vulnerable children, the
aged and the mentally challenged.

He said currently the
team provides food on a regular basis to 5,842 beneficiaries across Ghana,
covering $ 8,000 to $ 10,000 worth of food products along the supply chain
which could have gone wasted.

He therefore, called
on Ghanaians to support the National Food Donor bill, which according to him
would help regulate food donation and ensure that a lot more was recovered to
support the vulnerable in society.

“With this initiative,
our National School Feeding Programme will also be easily implemented,” he
added.

Mr Addo said the bill
when passed into law would ban supermarkets and hospitality companies from
destroying their unsold foods, and donated it to charities or farms instead;
this is coming as a result of the increasing amount of food that has been
wasted along Ghana’s food supply system.

He said as a Chef, he
witnessed a mentally challenged man collecting food scraps in Accra, and
feeding the other mentally challenged individuals on the streets, and this
motivated him to embark on such a laudable initiative.

GNA

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