NEWS COMMENTARY ON THE NEW SECURITY STRATEGY DOCUMENT BY PRESIDENT AKUFO-ADDO
National security is an important area that cannot be toyed with since socio-economic development and growth greatly depends on it. Development in all its forms needs to be adequately protected, seeing that without adequate protection there will be no peace and tranquillity, which are essential ingredients that are needed for the transformation of society. Whenever people live in fear and uncertainty the issue of planning cannot effectively take place because the mere existence of fear will greatly go to disturb the peace in society and make it difficult for leaders to plan and implement programmes that are meant to benefit the entire society. It is in the light of this that the launch of the National Security Strategy Document is seen as most appropriate and relevant for the good of the country. The Document launched by President Akufo Addo serves as a blueprint for guidance to stakeholders in the security network regarding how to deal effectively with existing and imminent security risks facing the country. This is in line with the aspiration of government to employ a more pre-emptive, all-inclusive approach that coordinates response efforts to deal with challenges to its security risks and stability from both domestic and international environment. The Security Strategy outlined in the document reflects a multi-faceted approach involving different roles for the various ministries, departments and agencies. What is good about the Security Strategy is that it will help to strengthen the capability of the country to address not only violent extremism but also terrorism which has become a threat to many countries.
In doing all these, the ultimate purpose would be to optimise the effectiveness of the security and intelligence sector of the country. At the end of it all it is expected that issues relating to security, intelligence as well as systems and structures can be handled most appropriately. The essential point about this document is that instead of dwelling on a few stakeholders to deal with security matters in the country it tries to involve all agencies and bodies whose role is essential and necessary for overall national security. National Security does not depend on just a handful of people and this explains why all stakeholders need to coordinate their activities towards ensuring that national security issues are properly identified, analysed and dealt with in accordance with national interest.
In view of the different roles expected from stakeholders, there is the need to organize training programme for all ministries, regional security council leadership and members of Parliament as well as members of the judiciary. This explains why all these groups have been directed by the president to ensure that workshops are organised for them. Other identifiable bodies expected to take part in the training programmes which will soon be rolled out include religious leaders, the national house of chiefs, civil society organisations, youth groups, the national peace council and educational institutions. All this is meant to create a deeper understanding of the roles expected of them regarding the effective implementation of the national strategy document. The effective implementation of the Strategy greatly depends on the availability of financial resources for which reason every effort must be made to ensure there is an adequate realisation of resources for all emergency situations. This also explains why the Minister of Finance has been tasked by the President to collaborate with the Minister of National Security when it comes to the establishment of a security fund to provide the necessary financial resources for the implementation of the strategy. There is no doubt national security is an issue that must be seen as resting on all groups and stakeholders in the country. If the implementation is carried out well there will be adequate protection as well as respect for rule of law and also enhancement of human rights and freedoms of all Ghanaians as enshrined in our current republican constitution. National security is very important but on no account should this be compromised for fundamental human rights as was pointed out by the president. The new National Security Strategy Framework outlined in the document has been well thought through and this explains why its effective implementation will bring about the desired effects envisaged by the people in this country in terms of peace, security, respect for human rights and the protection of the common national interest.
By Dr. Kofi Amponsah Bediako. Director Corperate Communications Ghana Standards Authority.