Security strategy without stakeholder commitment worthless – Sani

A security analyst, Mr Adib Sani has noted that a national security strategy without stakeholder commitment or implementation funding can best be described as futile.

He said commitment and funding are the lifelines to realizing Ghana’s security aspirations.

His comments come after President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, commissioned a newly-constructed building for the Ministry of National Security, and launched the National Security Strategy document, the first such document in the history of the country.

Speaking at the ceremony on Monday, 7th June 2021, President Akufo-Addo expressed his satisfaction that the National Security Ministry “has decided to name this new building after one of its most hardworking leaders, the late National Security Co-ordinator, Joshua Kyeremeh, who died so tragically early whilst in office, and was laid to rest a few days ago”.

Touching on the importance of the National Security Strategy, the President explained that the document necessary for the existence of Ghana’s National Security architecture, adding that the overarching vision of the National Security Strategy is to maintain Ghana as an open, tolerant, socially cohesive, peace-loving, people-centred, secure, united and prosperous constitutional democracy that upholds the rule of law.

“The National Security Strategy also aims to establish Ghana as a land of opportunities, with the resolve and the capability to protect her people, her culture and her values, to spur growth, development and prosperity that inure to the well-being of her people, whilst positioning the country to play a meaningful and influential role at regional, continental and global levels,” he said.

The President continued, “Once operationalised, the Strategy will optimise the effectiveness of the security and intelligence sector, by revamping current systems and structures. The strategy will prioritise the effective use of resources to promote effective decision-making, through an institutional system that will ensure integrated and efficient co-ordination in all spectrums of national security.”

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The Strategy, President Akufo-Addo noted, will provide a new institutional structure, which will be equipped to confront threats through rapid, coordinated and comprehensive responses. 

He explained that the implementation of the National Security Strategy will be driven systematically, transparently and accountably to ensure that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) achieve their expected outcomes, which would contribute significantly to enhancing the country’s cohesion, resilience and stability.

With the National Security Council providing strategic direction for the implementation of the National Security Strategy, the President noted that the Minister for National Security shall be responsible, to the National Security Council, for the day-to-day coordination of activities geared towards the successful implementation of the National Security Strategy.

President Akufo-Addo revealed further that the new Security and Intelligence Agencies Act (Act 1030) has made provision for the creation of a Ministerial Security Coordinating Committee, which comprises the Ministers for National Security, Defence, Interior, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Justice and Communications and Digitilisation.

“Indeed, the multifaceted nature of the National Security Strategy, which assigns different roles to the various Ministries and Agencies, underscores the need for extensive education and sensitisation on the content of the Strategy,” he said.

He, thus, tasked the Minister for National Security to organise workshops for all Ministers, Regional Security Councils, the leadership and Members of Parliament, Members of the Judiciary, religious leaders, the National Peace Council, the National House of Chiefs, Civil Society Organizations, youth and women groups, and various educational institutions, to deepen their understanding of their roles in the implementation of the strategy.

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“I acknowledge that, on matters regarding the implementation of strategies that are beneficial to the State, resource allocation and budgetary funding is key. Informed by this, the National Security Strategy requires the Minister for Finance to collaborate with the Minister for National Security to establish a Security Fund to support the implementation of the Strategy in emergency and crises,” he added.

Reacting to this development, Mr Adib Sani in a statement said “I received with elation the launch of the national Security strategy document. This has been a personal crusade I have waged since 2016 and it excites me to know that we finally have one.

“The security strategy will serve as a blueprint to the way the security of the state will be run. Hitherto, our approach to security is adhoc; address insecurities as they occur. But this strategy will help us better plan to deal with existing insecurities and even preempt emerging ones. Most of the security documents in Ghana were scattered in different legislations and not up to date. For example, there is absolutely no way the arms and ammunition act could have preempted 3D printed guns as a threat.

“There is therefore the need to regularly update the document to reflect the dynamics of security in a fast changing world. I advise every 4 years.

“Most importantly, a national security strategy without stakeholder commitment or implementation funding can best be described as futile. Commitment and funding are the lifelines to realizing our security aspirations.

“This document should be a people centered strategy hinged on human development as against the very much accustomed to state or regime preservation technique. The most sustainable means to security is good governance, access to food, water, quality healthcare, employment, respect for rights and freedoms of the citizens and protection of the environment.

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“Everybody has a role to play, hence, the need for awareness creation. Ghanaians should be sensitized to understand that they have a role to play in protecting themselves and better securing their communities.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana