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Bagbin Launches $100,000 UDS Research Fund

Speaker Alban Bagbin has launched a $100,000 University of Development Studies (UDS) Research Fund which is to provide financial resources in the form of grants to qualified people (faculty, staff, students, etc.) for purposes of conducting relevant (i.e., applied, problem solving and interdisciplinary) research for the socioeconomic development of northern Ghana and beyond.

He made a personal donation of GH¢50,000 as seed money to the fund.

Speaking during the 8th Harmattan School of the UDS in Tamale, the Speaker urged the Electoral Commission (EC) to conduct the 2024 elections with integrity, transparency, and trust.

Speaking as the guest of honour on the theme: “Accountable governance, violent extremism and the 2024 elections”, the Speaker urged the EC to prioritise the will and safety of the voter, and the stability of the country.

According to him, “The Commissioners of the EC and their entire staff, whether permanent or temporary, must spare a thought for the sanctity of the electoral process, safety of the voter, the protection and security of political parties, and the stability of the country.

“Political parties should also play to the rules and regulations governing the voting process instead of taking rigid positions on issues. We have a nation to build in peace and we must all be committed to that.”

Touching on the theme, he indicated that, our present circumstance, particularly, the happenings in the sub-region, make the theme very apt.

He stated that, the past three years have witnessed a series of military coup d’états in sub-Saharan Africa as well as pockets of extremism in the sub-region, and this demand sober reflection to understand the causes and undercurrents that have given rise to these situations.

The Speaker indicated that, in today’s global geo-politics, violent extremism is becoming a great source of worry because of its linkage with terrorism and the significant threat it presents to global security. The reversals of democratic governance that have been witnessed in West Africa have come with some forms of extremism, he added.

He admonished the media to demonstrate a high sense of responsibility, given the essential role they play in shaping public opinion about the fairness or otherwise of an electoral process. Also, the media must avoid premature declaration of election results ahead of the official declaration by the EC as this can create tension and undermine trust in the electoral process, he said.

To the political parties and their communicators, the Speaker advised them to jettison indecent and abusive language on air, whilst leadership of the political parties advocate for tolerance and respect during the election period, adding that the EC should work to attain transparency in its processes, and integrity in voter registration to build public trust.