Austin Gamey kicks against use of ex-presidents as mediators

CEO of Gamey and Gamey Academy of Mediation, Mr Austin Gamey has kicked against the use of former presidents and politicians as mediators in managing conflicts because they are not trained to do so.

He would rather hire the services of professional mediators and facilitators be engaged to handle such situations to avoid plunging any country into anarchy.

He spoke on Austin Gamey’s Take on Multi TV, a conversation which had Sam Bannerman-Wood, a legal and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) practitioner contributing on managing differences.

He added that using even most revered chiefs and pastors, as well as former presidents, will not necessarily resolve conflicts.

“What is needed are experts who are mediators and facilitators to join hands with those faces and be in the forefront to guide them in having a conversation about the processes on how to resolve differences, without plunging this nation into anarchy,” he emphasised.

Mr Gamey, who is also former Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu in the Volta region, a former Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations and past President of the Institute of Human Resource Practitioners, said ADR is a broad spectrum within which managing conflicts or disputes revolve.

He recalled that Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Liberia were decimated due to conflict, noting that Ghana has its own history of petty conflicts like the Peki-Tsito, Alavanyo – Nkonya, Bimbilla, and the Abudu – Andani.

He however stated that the ADR Act 798 of 2010 makes provision for the revered chiefs to help in resolving conflicts adding that what they need is a training programme through the Regional and National House of Chiefs on mediation and facilitation.

Mr. Gamey further advised pastors in the various churches to apply wisdom and upgrade their knowledge in dealing with marital issues.

Mr Bannerman-Wood recommended that Government, companies and civil society groups adopt mediation as an option to preventing and resolving differences. The cost of conflict, in his view, is enormous and often not quantified.

Ghana’s Labour Act is perhaps one of the best in the world, but hasn’t been allowed to operate, due to political interference, and total disregard by unionists. “This is rooted in the mistrust among feuding factions who do not trust in the end conclusions”, he revealed.

Think-tanks, he pointed, are not experts in conflict resolution, adding, “they have an ability to rally people together but require the services of professionals in dealing with mediation and facilitation to add value to the conversation being held.”

It is his wish that the educational curriculum introduces listening and hearing skills to equip children at a very early age.

Meanwhile, Austin Gamey mentioned that, he had submitted a programme of that nature to the government to train children in their formative stages, as is being done in America, to enable children resolve problems within the schools. This proposal is yet to see the light of day.

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