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results by the Chair of the Commission, Mr Mahama indicated that the party will not accept the results of the polls because in their view, the elections management body manipulated the figures in favour of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP). Addressing the nation on Thursday, December 11, the presidential candidate of the NDC said “The facts and figures on the pink sheets available to us indicate that numerous steps have been taken to manipulate the elections in favour of the incumbent. “ T h i s c a l l s i n t o question the credibility of one of our most important institutional pillars of democracy, the Electoral Commission. “It is now obvious to many objective minds that the Commission and its chairperson have been used to manipulate results from the various

election infrastructure, campaigning, and the ability for citizens to p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h e gove r n a n c e p r o c e s s outside of election years. Africa’s greatest hope •What the young bring to the table: Despite challenges to improved governance, Ibrahim was hopeful for continued d e m o c r a t i c c h a n g e in Africa, especially as the growing youth population begins to flex its political muscles. “Our future is in the hands of [these] young people,” he said, pointing to the role youth played in the peaceful ousting of for mer Sudanese President Omar AlBashir. A l t h o u g h t h e c o n t i n e n t f a c e s considerable challenges in the COVID era, “this young generation is far better equipped than [older generations] to deal with these issues,” Ibrahim argued. “They are better e d u c a t e d , b e t t e r informed” than many older Africans, and the youth have deeper experience with the Internet and other digital skills. •Focus on 21stcentury education: In order to harness the growth and talent of this new generation, however, “the education system in Africa needs to improve with time,” he said. “ We n e e d m o r e technical schools, we need people who can fix tractors, who can build roads, who can build dams,” he argued. For too long, the school system was primarily “built upon just producing clerks” for government jobs, he explained. “We don’t need clerks, we

need dirty hands who are educated.” Avoiding international squabbles •Many new players: The economic growth spur red by Africa’s growing youth population has also garnered greater international interest in the continent. “The world woke up to the fact that this is a huge market and is growing fast,” Ibrahim explained, which has led to many more economic deals and political alliances between African nations and other international powers from Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Ibrahim stressed that this new scramble to make deals on the continent has come about after the United States “almost withdrew out of Africa” and “created a vacuum for people to come in.” •Steering clear of conflict: While “it is wonderful to be open to everybody and to be friends with everybody,” Ibrahim cautioned “the problem…is when Africa becomes a theater of proxy wars.” He noted the Libyan war as an example of a domestic conflict that has worsened as a result of international i n v o l v e m e n t a n d expressed concern at the increased international security presence in strategic regional areas such as Djibouti. “This competition is really unhealthy for us,” he stressed. Quoting an African proverb, he a d d e d , “ w h e n t h e elephants fight, the grass suffers.” David A. Wemer is associate director, editorial at the Atlantic Council.

constituencies and in that process seek to subvert the sovereign will of the Ghana people.”

 He added “Since the inception of the Fourth Republic, final election results have always been declared within a 72hour period to allow for thorough and diligence collation.

 “ S u r p r i s i n g l y, this E l e c t o r a l Commission chairperson a n n o u n c e d q u i t e suspiciously for reasons known to her a hurried 24hour deadline which as we all know could not and would not be met."

 “The Chairperson of the EC in less than 24 hours after her declaration has admitted that she made unacceptable errors which go to the heart of the entire electoral process and cast deep doubt on the credibility o f t h e a n n o u n c e d outcome.”

 - 3 News

“sixty percent of African people live in a better governed country” than before. •A dangerous tradeoff: In the last ten years, however, improvements in the economy and some human-development areas have been coupled with “deteriorating” standards in security and human rights. M a n y A f r i c a n leaders are attempting to orchestrate a tradeoff with their societies where economic growth is prioritized while freedoms are simultaneously rolled back. “It doesn’t work,” Ibrahim argued, warning that this imbalance is causing the progress in governance across the continent “to stagnate in the last five years” and to go “down in general” this year for the first time in a decade. •Consistent attention needed: Ibrahim argued that Western countries that want to help promote stronger gover nance in Africa need to look beyond their current focus on elections as the only metric of success. There is an assumption in the international community, he explained, “that every four or five years…there is a moment in the country’s history where people go and practice their democratic rights. I think people should be able to practice their democratic rights every day of the week.” Ibrahim suggested that international observers keep closer tabs on how African countries set up

F o r m e r President John Dramani Mahama has said the Chair of the Electoral Commission (EC) Jean Mensa was incompetent in handling the justended presidential and parliamentary elections.

 H e s a i d p r o p e r computation of the f i g u r e s t h a t w e r e a n n o u n c e d by t h e Commission that made President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo the president-elect did not add up, hence the need to audit the numbers again.

 “ W i t h t h e incompetence the EC has shown, it will be useful for us to do a forensic audit of the EC’s own systems and numbers to come to what the final number from the EC is,” Mr. Mahama who was the presidential candidate in the 2020 polls said in an interview with VOA News.

A f t e r t h e announcement of the

Mo Ibrahim: Why Africa Must Emerge More Resilient From The COVID Crisis

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COVID-19 VACCINATIONS BEGIN IN CALIFORNIA AS L.A. HEALTHCARE WORKERS AMONG FIRST TO GET DOSE

By Luke Money, Colleen Shalby, Maura Dolan

F i ve h e a l t h c a r e workers at the Kaiser Permanente hospital in Hollywood were among the first Californians to get the COVID-19 vaccine Monday, ushering in a new phase of a pandemic that has killed

 more than 21,000 people in the state and shattered the economy. Gov. Gavin Newsom, state Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis

were on hand as the county’s first workers got their shots, the beginning of what will be a long campaign to vaccinate California, starting with front-line healthcare workers. One by one, the Kaiser employees

sat inside a conference room that had been turned into a vaccination center. Newsom asked each about their line of work before the shots were administered. Cheers broke out from nearby masked observers after each

vaccination. “T his is your s?” Newsom asked Helen Cordova, a nurse in the intensive care unit and the first healthcare worker at the facility to receive the vaccine. “That’s mine,” she said, pointed to the dose

 held a few feet away by hospital pharmacy supervisor David Cheng. “Protect me,” she said laughing before Marilyn Lansaangan, a

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