Evolving The Legacy Of Accountable Leadership In Ghana

Sun, 21 Jun 2009 Source: Kanduri, Moses


By: Moses Kanduri

City University of New York (Kingsborough Community College)

There is an implicit awareness of how much poor quality of leadership has adversely affected Ghana’s efforts to develop to its full potentials and give to her citizens the quality of life that they deserve. The irony is that Ghana was not initially devoid of effective leadership. It had a hero: Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, among others who denied themselves of many opportunities that attract some of us in order to win political freedom and emancipate its people. They were dedicated visionaries!

What is particularly disturbing is that in spite of the terrible political and economic situations during the colonial or minority regimes, we had leaders who sacrificed their freedom for our emancipation. Their hope was that after independence those who took over power would continue to display the quality of mind and selflessness with which they tackled issues so that their descendants would be able to live comfortably. Currently, the state of Ghana in terms of leadership is a scar on the ethics of the world. More than half of Ghana’s population lives on less than $2 a day, more than a million of its children do not go to school, a woman dies every minute in childbirth and because of other diseases and there is also a steady and persistent decline in food production.

The country is potentially wealthy and yet the current situation in terms of persistent effects of the slavery which at independence bequeathed weak state and dysfunctional economies to the first generation of Ghana’s leaders. But an assessment of the situation will reveal that Ghana’s present situation has more to do with the poor quality of leadership, which has featured among other ills, bad governance, blatant corruption, nepotism and absolute disregard for the principles of good governance and democracy from the previous NPP government under the leadership of Ex-President John Ajekum Kufour.

Accountable leadership in Ghana should manifest itself in the judicious utilization of its resources such as the gold, agriculture proceeds, the intellectual human resource and the just discovered oil including international support for the benefit of its people. A democratized state should evolve into a sound and accountable system for drawing-up budgets, implementing them and monitoring their impact in order to promote development. One major hindrance to development which demonstrates the scarcity of good leadership in Ghana during the past NPP government is corruption. Apart from its negative impact on moral standards, it discouraged hard work and initiative, and raised inequality during the NPP eight years rule. In most recent times, the corruption perception index conducted by some anti-corruption organizations such as the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) indicates that there was an increase in corruption during the period.

There is a serious need for Ghana leadership at all levels to set an example of adherence to democracy, good governance and incorruptible behaviors so that Ghana can realize its potentials. The Mills administration during his first hundred days, has demonstrated a great deal of change in leadership style and has included people from all levels especially youth and female participation which is very necessary for nation building and promoting integrity, transparency and accountability. It would be great to hear that the dictum that “East or West home is the best” is beginning to catch-up in Ghana. The election of Prof. Atta Mills was the beginning of unity that Ghanaian had waited long to embraces and it is my believe that the time has come when helping hands should be extended by all Ghanaians to support our servants, the NDC led by Prof. Atta Mills to serve the nation adequately and confidently. The failed opposition will try to disable the connections that Ghanaians are willing to build through various means and institution such as the Danquah Institute, some media agent, and unscrupulous writers such as Michael Agbevo who tries to blindly slam the dealings of a well caved young and excelling Deputy minister of Information, Hon Samuel Okujato Ablakwa, but it will be important to tackles issues of Ghana by issues and with care. To His Excellency the President, Prof Atta Mills and the NDC government, I will say, they should be like the Camel: No matter the distance it has to cover, and the load on it, it will get to its destination safely. It is just with time.

Columnist: Kanduri, Moses