LEADERSHIP AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL
First of all when people ordinarily talk about leadership they mean leadership at the national level. What I have tried to do up to now is to say that there are various levels of leadership at the family level, community level, organizational level and traditional leadership must be strengthened if a nation is to build a crop of good leaders because out of this comes the other leadership in other words normally someone is not born to become a national leader overnight.
Now in Ghana people feel that politics is a means of gaining wealth rather than serving. People want to join TESCON and other groups with the view that as soon as they finish school they may catch the eyes of the politicians and be given post so we are having baby politicians whose first job is to be in politics and that is bad. That said I believe that of all the leadership categories, national leaders make the greatest difference in peoples’ lives. What is the strategic agenda for the nation for the next 15 years? The different political leaders may differ in terms of strategy they should not differ in terms of where Ghana wants to be in 15 years. They may differ on how to deliver on education but the type of quality education we need should not be a question. They must come up on how they are going to solve youth unemployment.
I find it unbelievable that politicians would disagree that Ghana needs a major injection of funding. However the terms under which we get the funding is not in our part of the world. When we talk about three billion what would end up in the ground won’t reach half a billion and we are saddled forever.
There must be a strengthened law that will be allowed to use in the media strengthening process whereby people will be held accountable. I think that we should also have a media court whereby if somebody maligns you in the media within a week the truth would be known and the culprit would be punished immediately. So I think that of cause the global governance situation has changed and it is helping us because now until 1990 everybody can oppress people in the country in his internal affairs now you can’t say it is internal affairs.
There are three things that are going to make the difference and I will talk in terms of an economist. There must be a strengthened demand for good leaders and they will produce. What do I mean by strengthened demand? I think that failures is not so much about political leadership but the agents that will ensure and demand good leadership thus the middle class, the academia are not doing their job. We have unduly allowed this. The Universities of Science and Technology what do they say about our road system, our civil system, about our mining and we have our lawyers apart what do they say about governance. The academia is failing and I think that we must encourage demand from them. The reason why the middle class is important is that the average family is not the one going to do everything not that it is not important. Professional associations must be strengthened. Civil society leadership must demand good national leadership because it is so important. The church is not partisan, as soon as the church says I support NDC or NPP you have lost it but there are certain standards that says the Lord and not only speak to the politicians and advise them but to the congregation that this is what God expects from a leader, a leader who does not do this is not worthy of your vote.
The second is the strengthening of the supply side and I believe that is why the electronic voting system is very good. We must strengthen the situation whereby good people can get power.
If you go to KNUST or Legon and do two or three years diploma and want to do a degree you have to start from class one so I said no, they will come to GIMPA and do a two year top-up and now all the universities are doing it.
That is now sustaining the private universities.Then about mature students I started with 8 weeks certificate course. I went to the national accreditation board and said I will admit these people who pass this entrance qualification. I actually wanted GIMPA to be a city of training of political leaders that is why we set up executive masters in governance and leadership. I thank God that 1/3 of the cabinet today are my students. Then business administration programmes where business people can come so we train them and then public administration masters to train bureaucratic leaders because this constituted three types of leadership. I think that we must strengthen the training of leaders at the national level but the third and most important is to strengthen civil society leadership because they eventually are those who demand the type of leadership from the politicians and often times most of the political leaders themselves challenge the political leaders
People think that you can set aside political leadership you can’t because they are important for national leadership and it is a question of how to challenge them to rise up to occasion. About 7 to 10 ministers matter. You cannot appoint people to positions by political considerations. Rather by order of competence because you are all leaders and that success depends upon them and also the national welfare depends upon that. To that effect, you cannot trifold with education, you cannot trifold with health, you cannot trifold with roads and communication, you cannot trifold with water, sanitation and works which use to be one ministry, you cannot trifold with the ministry of finance, you cannot trifold with trade and industry, and you cannot trifold with agriculture. No matter how you talk about Ministry of Women and Children if people are unemployed, if their health is bad, if education is bad what is the meaning?
So Ghana’s national development at this stage is useless but of cause you can create the ministry to satisfy constituency so you put somebody there as the minster. At this moment another important ministry is the petroleum and mining. Mining, energy and petroleum and again you can club some of them together but the point I was trying to make is this when it comes to governing there are certain positions which are ungodly. It is a matter of putting a competent person there to save your future but if you have a competent person as your party member that would be your preference but if not you go and look for, in Ghana it’s not necessary to go for an opposition there are certain people who are just professionally competent.
The best person to be a central banker doesn’t have to be an NDC or NPP person. Not that we need only seven ministries no; at lest we need a few more. Again if you talk about the ambassadors I think that there are only seven embassies that matters all the rest have people sitting there drinking coffee so you take your people there let them go and drink coffee and pay them 3,000, 4,000 a month for sitting there doing nothing. And I like the Americans you can hate them for everything else but I like them. The American interest is their foreign policies. In Ghana the national interest should be our policies. So you have a strategy and want to achieve something and other things become incidental. But in our case the politics is the major ones and everything else is incidental.