Modern Ghana

From the Web by Thomas Paine, Conflict can be defined as an open clash between two opposing groups or individuals” the harder the conflict the more glorious the triumph”. According to Charles P. Webel, and David P. Barash, Conflict occurs when different social groups are rivals or otherwise in competition. This fits to some extent the Dagbon case. Violence is defined as hurting and killing or threatening to do so in any way and in any context. Violence is an act of aggression (as one against a person who resist). He may accomplish by craft in the long run what he cannot do by force and violence in the short one.

http://www. wordnet. princeton. edu/perl/webwn Reconciliation: The reestablishing of cordial relations. Bringing together again in love or friendship. Brief Description of Ghana  The ancient empire of Ghana was located in the Western Sudan at least 500miles from modern Ghana. Included parts of modern Mali, Mauritania and Senegal. This empire arose around the 3rd Century BC and flourished for more than a thousand years. Ghana was an important center of trade. Its wealth was great that Arabs called it the land of gold and this is still used today.

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Modern Ghana is located in West Africa bordering the Gulf of Guinea between Cote d’Ivoire and Togo  Has a tropical climate that is warm and relatively dry along the Southeast cost, hot and humid in the Southwest and hot and dry in the north.  Natural resources are gold, timber, industrial diamonds, bauxite, manganese, rubber and hydropower.  Population about 20 million people with approximately 32 % living in poverty.  English is the official language with ethnic languages in use (e. g. Akan, Ewe, Ga etc. ) Religious brake down of the population (63%Christian, 21%Indigenous and 16%Muslims)

Current president is John Agyekum Kufuor of the NPP that defeated his opponent John Atta Mills of the NDC in December 2000. This election ended 20 years of rule by the PNDC that metamorphosed into NDC.  Three major political parties NPP, NDC and CPP  An area of 92,100 square miles with Accra being its capital  World Bank/IMF programs have negatively affected Ghanaians in the 1990’s in the form of low wages, high inflation and increasing unemployment and growth of the economy remains an elusive goa There are records of human rights violations under unconstitutional, undemocratic dispensations which are currently being addressed.

Annual population growth rate is at 1. 7%  A constitutional democratic state that gained independence from the United Kingdom on March 6, 1957 with Dr. Kwame Nkrumah as first Prime Minister Per Capita GDP is $ 1980 and GDP growth rate of 0. 3% * Inflation rate is 25% and the currency is Cedis Drought, deforestation, overgrazing, soil erosion, water pollution, insufficient portable water remains some environmental concerns to mention but a few.  For more on the political history of Ghana, and the colonial intervention in the country, please visit http://www. ghanaweb. com.

The Institution of Chieftaincy / Traditional Rulership Ghana’s constitution emphatically states that the institution of Chieftaincy, together with its traditional council as established by customary law and usage is hereby guaranteed. It defines a chief as a person who hailing from the appropriate family or lineage has been validly nominated, elected or selected and enstooled, enskinned or installed as a chief or queen mother in accordance with the relevant customary law and usage. The constitution mandates the establishment of a House of Chiefs in each region and it sets up a National House of Chiefs.

Each regional house of chiefs elects five Paramount Chiefs to represent the region in the National House of Chiefs. According to the constitution, the National House of Chiefs will do the following  Advice on Chieftaincy issues  Study, interpret and codify customary law into a unified system and compile times of succession applicable to each stool/skin  Undertake evaluation of traditional customs, and usages with a view to eliminating those that are outmoded and socially harmful.  Perform such other function consistent with their normal functions conferred by Parliament.

The Ghanaian constitution expressly prohibits chiefs from taking part in “active party politics” It requires any chief who wishes to engage in active party politics or who wishes to contest election to Parliament, to “abdicate his stool or skin” Notwithstanding the negative roles played by this institution during the post colonial era – Indirect Rule system and in recent times where some corrupt chiefs are amassing wealth out of the sale of lands which they should be custodians only. Chiefs continue to be respected and the institution revered in most African countries/in the African Continent for its amazing resilience.

The following are a few reasons for this  It seem as a enduring heritage of the African (custodian of culture and tradition)  Chiefs are closely linked to the people at the grassroots and understand their problem Preserve peace, order and stability in our society and adjudicate disputes.  Settle disputes among the people (low level conflict resolution) * Spear head development projects in their respective communities (a recent turn / development)  They adjudicate numerous disputes (low-level conflict resolution)  Spearhead development projects in their respective communities (a recent turn/ development).

Mouthpiece of the people, linking them with government (can arouse community solidarity). As the Asantehene once stated in BBC News interview and I quote “Governments will come and go but we are always here. We live with people, 70% are in rural areas- and they are with us”.  This institution is practiced in a lot of African countries including Nigeria, Malawi, Uganda, Zimbabwe, South Africa etc but how the institution is engaged in national politics differ from one country to another. More information can be sought from http://www,westafricareview. com.

Northern Ghana Conflict Though Ghana continues to be a relatively peaceful country in the African Continent, it has not been free from internal ethnic conflicts or isolated cases of human rights violations. The post independence era has witnessed a number of violent conflicts in many parts of Ghana occasioned by land and Chieftaincy disputes, religious disagreements between and within sects. Also the northern region has witnessed a number of ethnic conflicts mostly between the Kokomba minority group and the Dagombas, Gonjas and Nanumbas on the other hand.

Interestingly, these minority groups who are believed to be settlers from neighboring Togo have in most cases defeated the majority groups in conflicts/wars with the use of sophisticated AK47 assault guns and communication equipment. It is worth noting that the Kokombas are very hardworking, producing the bulk of yams from northern Ghana and thus are wealthy. Thus the conflicts between the Dagombas and the Kokombas which spanned over 1914’s to 1995 have been over the issue of land ownership and a sense of superiority of the minority Kokombas due to wealth.http://www. ethnonet-africa. org/pubs/p95boaten. htm.

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