A lecture on “Leadership in Africa: The way forward” was held at the Jophus Anamoah Mensah Conference Center at the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), on 23 March 2018. Dubbed “K-Talk” and organized by the Kufuor Scholars, the lecture initiated a new partnership between The John A. Kufuor Foundation and the University to promote good leadership among students.
The K-Talk lecture series is an initiative of the Kufuor Scholars Program, and it aims at bringing distinguished achievers from diverse backgrounds to inspire students to strive to become effective future leaders.
Present at the event were Rev. Fr. Prof. Afful-Broni, acting Vice Chancellor of UEW; Paul Osei Barima, university registrar; and Prof. Baffour Agyeman-Duah, CEO of the Foundation. Also present were the two guest speakers, Ms. Nana Aba Anamoah, a television personality of the EIB Network and Dr. Joseph Kingsley Adjei of the University of Cape Coast. The UEW Student Representative Council President Patrick Agyei and over 700 students filled the conference center.
In his welcome remarks, Prof. Afful-Broni expressed his passion for leadership which, according to him, is the key to development. “Empowering our young generation through mentoring is the key,” he said, adding, “Seeing someone and knowing you mentored them is the best feeling ever, and that is what the Kufuor Scholars Program is all about – preparing young people for future leadership”.
Prof. Agyeman-Duah who chaired the occasion reiterated that the Foundation focuses on providing a specialized transformational leadership preparation for the Ghanaian and African youth. Explaining further, he said his outfit offers a package of activities to prepare the youth, including leadership camps, mentoring, seminars and lectures.
Sharing their experiences in an interview format, four of the Kufuor Scholars expressed pride in being part of the scholars program and encouraged students to take full advantage of it. They cited a number of benefits, including learning to work in teams, generating ideas and devising strategies to bring these ideas to life, and building self-confidence. The scholars were Esther Spio and Nana Yaw Achaw of the University of Ghana; Edem Kojo Doe from UEW-Mampong Campus; and Salman Mohammed from University of Cape Coast.
Dr. Joseph Kingsley Adjei exposed the students to the sordid leadership in many African countries and cautioned them to reflect on how best to change the circumstance of Africans. Stressing the importance of time, he stated that “one mark of a good leader is to keep to time and it is only in our part of the world that there’s something we call ‘African Time’. Quoting Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president’s words, “The black man is capable of managing his own affairs,” he asked if what Nkrumah said can be said with pride today. He entreated the students to think, saying, “Life is not only about eating and drinking but thinking and dreaming. Africa needs youth who are thinkers.”
On her part, Ms. Nana Aba Anamoah revealed that the only thing that can be done to change Africa was to give opportunity to women. She urged women to be bold, confident and stand firm for what they believe in. As a woman you can be empowered by;
- Knowing yourself
- Knowing your strength
- Having goals
- Making yourself memorable
The chairman, Prof. Agyeman-Duah in his closing remarks stated that, “for Africa to overcome development deficits, we need people of integrity with vision and ideas and we look to young people to take the lead.” He urged the students not to be afraid to take initiatives in building themselves to be better leaders tomorrow.
The Music Department of UEW was present at the lecture and the talented musicians enlivened the center for their melodious renditions to close the day.