Yesterday, I took part in a Google plus hangout organised by Ghana Decides to discuss submissions from presidential candidates of various political parties in the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) presidential encounters series. I joined fellow Ghanaians from different locations throughout the world to discuss what we made of the submissions of the leaders of Convention People's Party (CPP), People's National Convention (PNC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP) as Ghana prepares for elections in December. The hangout was broadcast live on the Ghana Decides YouTube Channel. You can follow the discussion for yourself through this video:
Various opinions were shared, but what was clear is that people expect the IEA encounters to have little impact on the outcome of the polls (due to a perceived language barrier as the discourses were undertaken in English and that most people already made up their minds on who to vote for). However, it was agreed that the platform created by IEA has become an important hallmark of our democracy. It's relevance lies in the fact that whoever wins power will be held accountable for the pronouncements made to the people captured live on televison, radio and on the Internet. Another thing that was clear was the seeming distrust of political authority and their willingness to really bring change to the country.
All in all it was an interesting discussion and another example of the use of social media as a tool for civic engagement in our part of the world. I look forward to another opportunity in the future to talk, not only about politics, but also about other topics I'm interested in. What do you think about the points made during the discussion? What were your impressions about the IEA Evening Encounters? What do you think are the main issues that concern the youth as far as democracy in Ghana/Africa is concerned? It'd be good to know!