Opinions Mon, 23 Oct 2006

Ambassadorial Appointments Demoralising To Foreign Service Bureaucrats

I am not a bureaucrat with Ghana Foreign Service, nor do I have relatives working in that department. I am not also affiliated with Political Parties in Ghana. I am a Ghanaian living outside Ghana expressing my concerns on the demoralizing nature of appointments to positions in Ghana Foreign Services.

Whether it is public or private sector, there are certain outside appointments that bring value to the affected organization. Governments and private firms have known to recruit from outside, they do this when there are no qualified insiders capable of filling the position(s) created or vacated.

To think about the number of qualified Foreign Service bureaucrats past over when the following positions became vacant must be demoralizing to them. The positions of Ghana deputy High Commissioner to Canada, Ghana Ambassador to Italy and Ghana Deputy High Commissioner to South Africa were filled by outside appointments. Appointing outsiders to these positions, thus denying qualified Foreign Service bureaucrats the opportunity to advance is demoralizing to them, and would also discourage brilliant and ambitious young men and women to look at Foreign Service as a career option. This would also encourage experience Foreign Service bureaucrats to seek better opportunities somewhere else.

What added value would Charles Agyei-Amoamah who was first appointed to the office of Ghana Deputy High Commissioner in Ottawa, Canada and currently serving as Ghana ambassador to Italy ever bring to Ghana Foreign Service? What added value will the current Ghana Consul General in Toronto (John kwame Boahen) who is slated to fill the position of Ghana Deputy High Commissioner to South Africa ever bring to Ghana Foreign Service? Without a doubt in my mind these appointments by the Government is a message to bureaucrats in Foreign Service department that merits are worthless.

I have nothing against John Kwame Boahen, the current Ghana Consul General in Toronto or Charles Agyei-Amoamah, the current Ghana Ambassador to Italy. I wish I could say these two men are bringing skills lacking among the Ghanaian Foreign Service bureaucrats. Unfortunately, there is nothing in Amoamah or Nana Boahen’s previous careers to demonstrate that they have acquired skills which can not be found among the current Foreign Service bureaucrats.

In order for Ghana infant democracy to grow we must maintain independent and qualified bureaucrats to support it. Hiring and promotion of bureaucrats should be done base on merits not on political connections. Governments and Political Parties would always come and go, but our bureaucratic system should and must always maintain its quality. No Government should fill the bureaucratic system with its political cronies. This would take away the trust needed between an incoming Government and bureaucrats. We should keep an ever open watchful eye on these appointments lest Government weaken our bureaucrat system.

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Columnist: Salam, Gilbert