The European Union (EU) gave Ghana a grant of €7million ($8.8 million US) to support the conduct of the 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections. The funds will support the work of independent state institutions involved in the electoral process. They include Electoral Commission (EC), National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and National Media Commission (NMC).

The decision to support Ghana’s elections was based on recommendations by the EU Electoral Observation Mission to Ghana for the 2008 General Elections, which emphasized the need to deepen and consolidate Ghana’s democracy in line with Ghana’s good governance aspirations.

Speaking at the presentation, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, Chairman of the EC, said €1.5million had been committed specifically to the operations of NCCE, the NMC had €1million and the EC had €3.8million. Dr. Afari-Gyan explained that the EC would use its share of funds to build human resource and institutional capacity and organize training courses for election administrators and registration and polling staff.

Head of EU Delegation to Ghana Ambassador Claude Maerten said the EU attached high importance to the development and consolidation of democracy and the rule of law, respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms worldwide. He said supporting democracy was a crucial endeavor for the international donor community, because of the intrinsic value of democracy as a political system that helped foster human dignity.

He said the EU program would also provide support to the EC training school in Kumasi, which serves as a main training facility and center of excellence of the Association of African Election Authorities (AAEA).

Credits: GNA