PROFESSOR ERNEST ARYEETEY Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Legon has urged Ghanaians to respect and tolerate each other’s ethnicity to ensure peace, unity and national development.
Prof. Aryeetey said there was the need for formalized ways to achieve greater bonding among ethnic groups through decentralization and constitutional reforms to protect all ethnic groups for national cohesion.
He said this on Wednesday at the inaugural Rector’s lecture for the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) in Accra on the topic: “Ethnic Diversity and Economic Development in Africa”.
Prof. Aryeetey said many issues remained open for discussion in understanding the relationship between diversity and economic development, which include the importance of colonial heritage, relative abundance of land, natural resource endowment and the relevance of democracy.
“While ethnicity might be the main driving force for political structures and progression in some African contexts, other social categories play a role in these processes” he added.
He noted that states had manipulated the ideology and reality of ethnicity through one party state and personal rule and that leaders of major ethnic groups, had spearheaded ethno nationalist projects.
Prof. Aryeetey said there was the need to bond ethnic communities by building national identity, re-building post-conflict societies and developing marginalized communities and geographical areas.
He said education and improved literacy would increase developmental indicators including social support for democracy and lived experience and indigenous wisdom also facilitate political and democratic processes.
Professor Franklyn Acheampong Manu, Rector of GIMPA, said the lecture was important because it encouraged people to accept each other’s different ethnicity.
He said GIMPA would make the inaugural Rector’s lecture an annual affair. GNA