FNF Ghana Holds Liberal Lecture
The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty has held a public lecture in Accra to mark the 50th Anniversary of the foundation’s international operations. The lecture was delivered by Criminologist and Founding Director of the William Ofori Atta Institute of Integrity, Professor Ken Attafuah, on the topic Liberalism in a Developing Ghana.
The lecture was held at the Alisa Hotel and was attended by some members of parliament, members of the diplomatic corps, civil society groups, FNF alumni and a cross section of the Ghanaian public.
The occasion was also used to showcase the FNF’s programmes through a photo exhibition at the lecture venue.
Welcoming participants to the lecture, the Programme Officer of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (Ghana), Mrs. Tina Asante-Apeatu, recounted the success story of FNF in helping to build the pillars of democracy in Ghana. She said the Foundation’s programmes and efforts aimed at promoting liberalism in Ghana since 1992 have helped build the capacity of political parties and pro-democracy civil society groups. She mentioned the, Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) as some of the civil society groups, which FNF had worked closely with over the years. She said FNF through its international operation had made significant impact in promoting liberal ideals since 1963.
Professor Ken Attafuah, a distinguished lawyer, human rights specialist and long-time associate of FNF, said liberalism was the way forward for Ghana considering its core commitment to freedom. He said liberalism in Ghana had recorded a continued but checkered rise in Ghana and needed consolidation. He said the foundation for a liberal state included free and independent governance institutions, rule of law, a robust media and a vibrant civil society. He explained that Ghana’s Constitution had a strong backing for liberalism. He, however, cautioned that consciousness on the part of the citizenry to uphold the constitution was the surest way of building and a sustaining a free and liberal state.
Among the sub-themes Prof. Attafuah tackled in lecture was the corruption, which he said had the potential of compromising the various institutions needed to build a truly liberal state. He said judicial corruption was the worst form of corruption in the world since it gave rise to chaos, anarchy and the resort to instant mob or justice. Prof Attafuah, also spoke against corporate corruption, which was becoming prevalent in Ghana. „For as a criminologist, I know all too well, that even with armed robbery, as heinous as it is, the armed robbers collectively in one year, do less harm than one multinational or corporate entity,“ he said. He, therefore, called on all Ghanaians to rally together and without malice, fight any business or corporate entity that falls foul of the law. „We must fight it [corporate crime] with fervency and zeal. But we must do so within the boundaries of the law; with principle and decency. We must hate and repudiate wrongdoing but bear no malice towards anyone,“ he stressed.
The lecture was followed by a lively questions and contribution session. Participants and alumni also had the opportunity to socialize and share ideas during the refreshment session.
Other speakers at the lecture were Mr. Werner Nowak, the West Africa Director for FNF and Dr. Zoe Nautré, the Acting Head of Cooperation at the German Embassy, Accra.