28 Jul 2018

Internship at the National Peace Council, Ghana

by Sabina Appiah-Boateng

My internship at the National Peace Council (NPC) started on 4th June to 6th July, 2018. In the first two days, I was introduced to the staffs at the various departments. I got to know what role each staff performs in the institution. The National Peace Council is an independent Statutory national peace institution, established in the year, 2011 under Act 818 of the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana. The core mandate of the council is to prevent, manage, and resolve conflicts and to build sustainable peace in the country.

I was briefed on the current projects available. One of the current cases NPC has been working on is the issue of religious tolerance and freedom.  I was tasked to develop an instrument for data collection. I developed the instrument within three days and by the end of the week I arranged with the Executive Secretary and other department heads to finalize the instrument.  The outfit is currently waiting on government to release funds to collect these data and to inform policy on building peaceful co-existed among religious groups. The American Embassy is particularly interested in this study and ready to support the institution as well as I have engagement with representatives from Ghana chapter.

During the internship period, two of the staff went on study leave and I had to support the Human Resource and Programmes Manager to coordinate affairs of the office administratively.

I also developed a speech for the Chairman of National Peace Council, Most Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante to be delivered at the West African Parliamentary Peace Corps on the theme: Sustaining Parliamentary Democracy in the West Africa Sub-Region: The Role of the Media. The Chairman and Executive Secretary found the speech very unique and I felt proud of myself.

Functions Attended

  1. I had the opportunity to attend an inauguration ceremony on 13th June, organised by the Ghana Immigration Service with the Executive Secretary. They launched a Five-Year Strategic Plan with Hon. Akosua Frema Osei Opare, the Chief of Staff being the Guest of Honour. Other Ministers were also present. The participation of NPC was relevant because the Ghana Immigration Service and NPC all champion a security mandate in their organisational tasks. I interacted with the Deputy Minister of Interior, Hon. Henry Quartey because he is my constituency head and he asked that I visit the office. I also made two friends from Ghana Journalism Association and still have contacts.
  2. The second function attended was a two-day residential workshop, slated 27th to 28th June, 2018, held at International Student Guest Center, Accra. The Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) organised this workshop for all national civic society organisations on the theme: CSOs’ Role in Transformational Local Governance Reform in Ghana. This was particularly in reaction to the amendment of Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution. Although Ghana has been practicing democracy for over twenty-five years (25years) the decentralization of power to the local sector has been poorly practiced and called for the amendment and betterment of such a legislative instrument. Meaning that, decentralizing power at the local level needed to be on MULTI-PARTISANSHIP ELECTION and this was the core aim for inviting all necessary stakeholders to deliberate on the subject matter. On the ticket of the National Peace Council, I argued that and of which I ensured it to be added to the communique which was going to be deliberated upon at the parliament for approval, that change was necessary, however, citizens who have enjoyed the old system had the potential to sabotage such a brilliant course. For this reason, government should equip the National Peace Council to sensitize citizens on the importance of decentralizing power to the local level since one of the NPC’s mandates is conflict prevention. When this is not done, Ghana would likely face pockets of violence. I got the opportunity to interact and take a picture with Ghana’s Speaker of Parliament, His Excellency, Professor Michael Quaye.
  3. I also organised a dissemination workshop between my institute, Institute for Development Studies (IDS) and the National Peace Council slated 11th July, 2018. The aim of the workshop was for dissemination research findings of which the NPC tasked IDS-UCC to research on the theme: Preventing electoral violence in selected hotspots during the 2016 elections: strategies employed by the National Peace Council (NPC). I wrote letters inviting the following offices of which they all represented: Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defence, Central Regional Minister, and Ministry of National Security.
  4. The last function I attended was an invite by UNDP. This meeting was in collaboration with UNDP and the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana to strengthen Peacekeeping in the following countries: Ghana, Senegal, Mali, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Togo, Niger, and Guinea.

Future Job Prospects

The National Peace Council has received clearance to recruit over 100 staff to work in various capacities including Director for Research and Programmes.  From my interaction with the Executive Secretary, my chances of joining their team is very high, hence I intend to put in application when the call is opened in order to strengthen their research department.

Gratitude

I want to thank SDG – Graduate School Performing Sustainability for equipping me with the knowledge, experiences, and exposure that have made me a good fit for all and sundry. I stand tall and proud wherever I find myself. Your financial support has gone a long way to make the impossible possible in my life.

Thank you, DAAD-SDG Graduate School Performing Sustainability

Thank you, University of Hildesheim

Thank you, University of Cape Coast