Use positions to serve, not to amass wealth — Mrs Theodora Wood
A Former Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, has advised young people seeking leadership positions to consider such elevations as an opportunity to seek the welfare of the people they desire to lead and not as a means to amass wealth.
She emphasised that leadership positions must not be used as avenues for graft and opportunities for families and friends to acquire wealth.
Mrs Justice Wood gave the advice at the opening of the second Democracy and Governance Boot Camp in Tema on Monday.
It is being organised by the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), in partnership with Lead Afrique International and with support from Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), both civil society organisations.
The one-week boot camp, which is being attended by 71 students from selected public and private senior high schools (SHSs) across the country, seeks to, among other things, contribute to transformative youth leadership for nation-building through the provision of a practical teaching and learning environment that engages students on democracy and governance issues and also equipping them with leadership skills.
The maiden edition of the camp held last year provided a learning curve and an immersion programme which inspired the participating students to pursue higher leadership positions, increase knowledge and interest in democracy and governance issues and also commit themselves to living upright lives with integrity.
Mrs Wood said although leadership positions came with some pecks of office, such opportunities ought not to be abused by people who occupied such positions.
“Leadership is about offering servant leadership and serving your followers with humility and not the other way around,” she said.
The former Chief Justice also bemoaned the use of strong and offensive language by people, particularly young ones, in the arena of politics and urged students who desired to lead to be mindful of what they said about their leaders today.
The Director of Advocacy and Policy Engagement at CDD-Ghana, Dr Kojo Pumpuni Asante, explained that the 2019 programme would focus on unemployment.
He said as part of the programme, participants would explore various communities within Tema, the host city, to interact with people who were unemployed to appreciate how they were affected by the decisions leaders took and also come up with employment solution projects that could address such challenges.
The participants, he said, would also undertake a tour of the Jubilee House to understand the workings of the Executive arm of government and engage Members of Parliament in one-on-one interactions to understand how policies were crafted and implemented.
The Deputy Director of Programmes at CDD-Ghana, Dr Franklin Oduro, said in spite of the successes chalked up by the country in its democratic journey, it was still faced with a lot of challenges in the areas of leadership, policy making, institutional effectiveness, accountability and responsiveness.
He indicated that the boot camp fell in line with CDD-Ghana’s commemorative activities, which involved tapping into an under-engaged demography by stirring up the interest of participants in governance and democracy-related principles, in addition to building their leadership potential.
Some of the participants who interacted with the Daily Graphic commended the organisers for the programme.
Ms Eudia Awen, a student of the SOS Hermann Gmeiner International College, said the camp would equip her with skills to enable her to become a good leader and also enhance her communication skills.
For her part, Ms Emenyo Afi Nutakor of the Akosombo International School said the programme would give her the opportunity to know what the government had put in place to solve the myriad of challenges facing the youth.