The Institute of Economic Affairs: Fostering democracy in Ghana

Stories and facts

The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) stands as Ghana's premier independent public policy think tank, originating in 1989 in Accra, Ghana's capital, during a period of military rule when the prospects of multi-party democracy were uncertain.

With a mission focused on promoting good governance, democracy, and sustainable economic development in Ghana and West Africa, the IEA operates through two dedicated centers: the Governance Center and the Economics Center, both committed to conducting high-quality research and advocacy to inform public policy.

Purpose of IEA's Election Work Since 2000, the IEA has been steadfast in its commitment to deepening and consolidating multi-party democracy by organizing Presidential Debates for flag bearers of parliamentary political parties in Ghana.

These debates serve as a crucial platform for candidates to engage in dialogue, discuss policies, and answer questions from the electorate, aiming to shift campaigns from personality attacks to substantive discourse.

Insight into IEA's Presidential Debates Ghana holds a unique position as the only West African country to have hosted four consecutive Presidential Debates, marking a significant milestone in the nation's democratic journey.

Notably, the first-ever presidential debate in Ghana, organized by the IEA in 2000, led to the eventual winner benefiting from his opponent's absence. Subsequent debates introduced Vice Presidential Debates and Evening Encounters, enriching the political landscape with diverse perspectives.

Key Approaches Taken by the IEA The IEA's meticulous approach to organizing Presidential Debates includes the establishment of a Presidential Debates Committee (PDC) comprising eminent individuals tasked with various responsibilities.

Candidates undergo rigorous vetting for participation, and moderators are carefully selected to ensure impartiality and adherence to guidelines. Security arrangements, media collaboration, and question development further underscore the IEA's commitment to ensuring transparent and peaceful electoral processes.

The IEA's efforts have significantly contributed to reducing political tensions, promoting issues-based campaigning, and enhancing accountability among elected leaders.

The debates serve as accountability platforms, with candidates held to their policy commitments post-election. While successes have been evident, lessons learned include the need for broader language accessibility and periodic assessments of leaders' performance against debate pledges.

In essence, the IEA's Presidential Debates represent a cornerstone of Ghana's democratic evolution, fostering transparency, dialogue, and informed decision-making among citizens.

Explore the history of Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) stands below.



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