Politics of Mon, 7 Sep 20099
Rawlings says true leadership key to Africa's development
Accra, Sept. 7, GNA - Former President Jerry John Rawlings says the baseline characteristics of any country that wants to develop are probity, accountability and true leadership. Human freedom, he added, cannot be sustained without the corresponding responsibility of accountability. The future of African development, he stated, was in the hands of the people of Africa who must identify and elect the right leaders - leaders with untouchable moral values.
A statement in Accra said the former President was speaking at a seminar organised by the Norway branch of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) as part of its inauguration. He said: "If governments are corrupt and do not care about the plight of the suffering masses, and if they cannot be held accountable, then there cannot be freedom and there cannot be development."
Speaking on the topic "Defining the Characteristics of the Human Resources Desirable for Socio-political Development of Ghana", former President Rawlings said as far back as 1979 there was an outcry against general irresponsibility and immorality that pervaded the Ghanaian society" and that led to the 1979 uprising. "In the same vein, if probity (decency, honesty, integrity, honour, virtue and purely moral correctness) takes flight from the fabric of society then the chances of achieving development are slim," he added. Former President Rawlings said character could not be purchased off the counter at the retail store.
"Character is something that is instilled, developed and nurtured over many years. It took the predecessor of the NDC government in Ghana about 10 years to try and restore some of the basic characteristics of accountability and probity. "Today, thirty seven years later, the NDC has to again address the issue of accountability after eight years of irresponsible governance by its predecessor who believed that it was all about 'GNP growth, income and wealth and producing commodities and accumulating capital.'"
The former President lamented that Ghana's Human Development Index fell during the eight years of the Kufuor administration and said there always had to be a social democratic approach to governance. "Social democracy does not reject capitalism but indeed welcomes it as long as it is also subject to accountability and probity. The foundation of this social democratic core of the ruling NDC was born out of the absolute neglect of the needs of the masses who suffered immeasurable miseries under successive military and private governments prior to 1982," former President Rawlings explained. He stated it was important that our education systems built people with the right characteristics right from birth and continued through formal education.