The West Africa Centre for Counter-Extremism (WACCE) has trained 100 youth as peace Ambassadors in the Northern Region.
The 100 youth were drawn from various communities and educational institutions in the region. The peace ambassadors also include the deaf and dumb and political activists.
The two days capacity building workshop on preventing violent extremism was supported by the US Embassy.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Executive Director of WACCE, Mr. Mutaru Mumuni Mugthar said, the Northern region is very challenge in terms of peace and security,” and we are doing everything to ensure that especially the youth to play a leading role to preserve and countering any vulnerability that could result in large scale violence here”
Mr. Mumuni Mugthar said the two day the capacity workshop on violent extremism in Ghana is aimed at helping young people to understand what it means to be radicalized, the underpinning to radicalization and violent extremism and things that could lead to violence in any part of the country.
He said, the capacity building workshop is to help the young people to understand the vulnerabilities within their communities, “what could lead people to engaged in violence and to see themselves as peace ambassadors, what kind of conversation can lead to violence and how can we prevent that from happening, how can you an individual lead in terms of seeking peace?”.
The WACCE Executive Director said, after the workshop participants will be drawn into peace network and engage in peace initiates in their communities. “There be competitions for these young people to compete to able to be assisted with funds and logistics to organized similar things at the micro level in the communities”.
He noted that, Chieftaincy violence and ethnic conflicts are very common in Ghana, adding that, “currently we have 352 unresolved chieftaincy and ethnic conflicts in Ghana and this is very serious situation and it is important that young people understand these vulnerabilities and see themselves of playing a leading the preserve the peace of the country.
The Executive Director of WACCE said there are more programs to be roll out before the end of the year and next year as well, hinted that, his outfit will soon organize a similar workshop in Bolga, Upper East Region.
“We need the support of the local people, the media and other stakeholders in ensuring that we make Northern Ghana and Ghana in general, a peaceful place and peaceful capital of Africa”. He said
In her keynoted address, the Cultural Affairs Officer at the US Embassy, Ms Elizabeth Ategou commended WACCE for initiating the programme that seeks to prevent violence in all levels particularly the youth who may be vulnerable to radicalization.
Ms Elizabeth thanked civil societies and traditional authorities for supporting the initiative to empower young people to seek peace in their various communities, adding that, participants of the workshop have shown commitments to promote African solution to African challenges.
She said, the United State is a committed partner to Ghana and whole African continent in seeking measures to prevent violence and violent extremism and generate prosperity from Africa for Africa, driving by private sector growth and the talents and ideas from young African entrepreneurs.
The Ghana US Embassy Cultural Affair Officer noted that, Ghana is a leader for peace and stability in the sub-region, “and your efforts here today makes the difference”.
She said, the United States is proud to work hand in hand with young leaders to champion the noble cause in promoting peace, rejecting violence, strengthening communities and planting the seed of prosperity for every child in Ghana.
The Chairman of the Northern Regional Peace Council, Most Rev. Father Philip Naameh urged the youth to channel their energies into productive activities.