Music, youth and post-election peace initiatives. A study of the Musicians Union of Ghana
AuthorTekpor, Sonia Delali
This study examines the role of civil society organizations in post-election peacebuilding in Ghana. The main objective of the study is to demonstrate how musicians in Ghana contribute to peacebuilding through their music. It highlights the specific activities that were organized by MUSIGA to help promote peace before, during and after the 2012 elections in Ghana. Moreover, it ascertains the motivations behind MUSIGA’s peace related activities and the perceived impact of these activities from the views of musicians on one hand and the youth on another hand. To achieve this, the study draws on semi-structured interviews with five (5) musicians and thirteen (13) youths. The concepts of multi-track peacebuilding, civil society, the sociology of music and youth agency have been used as the framework for analysis. The study findings indicate that Ghana’s success at relatively peaceful elections has been achieved through a collaboration between state and non-state agencies, of which MUSIGA is a part. It revealed that the efforts of musicians support the peace initiatives engaged in by other agencies which form a peace infrastructure for the country. The data reveals that musicians had a genuine willingness to contribute to peacebuilding. Some youth were however of the opinion that musicians engaged in peace work in order to gain popularity while others agreed that they did it for the greater cause of achieving post-election peace. The initiatives of musicians was commended by all the informants and recognized to be significant. Analytically, the study gives credence to the idea that peacebuilding is a collaborative venture which requires the contribution of all stakeholders at the various levels of society. It contributes to the importance of civil society in peacebuilding. It further demonstrates that the role of civil society in peacebuilding is a supportive one which cannot be ignored. In addition, it provides an understanding into why professional musicians in Ghana take part in peace promotion during election periods. The study also provides evidence that a creative art like music can be an effective tool for peace promotion.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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Copyright 2016 The Author(s)
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