Shaping outcomes: Alumnus contributes to peaceful elections in Ghana

Ishmael Nii Adjei Browne is a bright young professional with an admirable personal drive. Upon returning from Australia, he put his Award-gained skills to good use, playing an important role in the peaceful outcome of the 2012 Presidential Elections in Ghana.

Ishmael obtained a Masters degree in Governance and Public Policy at the University of Queensland during his time at the Ministry of Defence. Soon after returning to Ghana in 2011, he was seconded to the National Peace Council (NPC) as the Acting Director of Administration and tasked with supervising the establishment of the national Secretariat and ten regional offices of the NPC, the constitutionally mandated body tasked with facilitating and developing mechanisms for conflict resolution, prevention and management, as well as ensuring national peace.

Ishmael’s contribution to Ghana’s peaceful 2012 elections goes further. He and other peace activists teamed up to facilitate the Kumasi Peace Declaration Policy. This declaration sought to address political injustice and impunity, which had characterised elections in Ghana in previous years. The declaration saw the eight presidential candidates pledge before the people of Ghana and the international community their willingness to champion a peaceful election.

“My most humbling and challenging experience was when, immediately after the elections, the main opposition party petitioned the Council to intervene in perceived election malpractices,” explains Ishmael.

This petition called for a high-level mediation meeting between the Electoral Commission and leading members of the various political parties involved in the election. As Administrator of the NPC, Ishmael was involved in the facilitation of this meeting through the Council, which helped avert violence and potential bloodshed in Ghana in the aftermath of the elections.

“My studies in Australia equipped me with the relevant skills and knowledge to perform this important national assignment,” explains Ishmael.

Ishmael also finds time to extend the benefits of his education to the larger community. He volunteers at his church where he is spearheading a Community Library Project, which is in its concept stage. Ishmael joins the Australia Awards Alumni Ambassador group with jovial enthusiasm and commitment to fulfil his ambassadorial role.

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