Africa needs strong men – Prof Adei
Africa needs strong men and women who have the moral tenacious capacity to transform the continent, Professor Stephen Adei, former Rector of the Ghana Institute of Public Administration has said.
Prof Adei who was speaking in Accra at the Leadership Enrichment Summit, said strong institutions and systems, though very essential to a nation’s socio-economic development; had to be built by strong men and women.
The two-day summit, organized by Translead Consult (TC) and Eric Kwapong Ministry (EKM), had as its theme: ‘Thriving Global Leadership in an Uncertain Terrain and Access to Capital,.’ with ‘Re-building Ghana Through Synergy within the Private Sector in Partnership with the Public Sector’ as its mission.
It brought together all decision and policy makers in government and business, chief executive officers, middle level leaders and managers in business, corporate, secular, traditional, political, government, church and social spheres.
The summit aimed at building the leadership capacity in their private, personal and professional lives, as well as enrich the spiritual capacity of leaders.
Prof Adei observed that these strong men and women in Africa must be capable of mobilizing the entire citizenry, to build strong lasting institutions and systems to facilitate the continent’s rapid socio-economic development.
He pointed out that when leadership failed, it affected all other things.
Prof Adei said the “so-called Africa’s strong men” were little men parading as leaders; who could not stand the vision and challenge of other men and therefore, hid behind armoured tanks.
The former GIMPA Rector said a strong leader must have character, integrity, trustworthiness and competence.
He said part of the problem Africa was facing today was that of leadership incompetence, adding that, “if the President is incompetent we will all suffer”.
Prof Adei said one of the characteristics of strong men that transformed their nations was that they cared for their people.
“I personally think that it takes the stride of personality rather to humble to build systems and institutions that will last, and that is the type of people Africa needs,” he stated.
On what it takes to build a country, Prof Adei mentioned; capable, visionary and transformational leaderships of integrity, a long-term national strategic planning framework and a transformation agenda to bring the vision about.
He called for a strong judiciary, a transparent independent Electoral Commission and a core capable clean bureaucracy.
He also advocated for the establishment of an independent, capable, resourced bi-partisan National Development Planning Commission; which would draw up a long-term national development agenda for the country.
“Weak systems and institutions is what is breeding the corruption and inefficiencies we talk about; I strongly believe that we need strong institutions for national development, but ironically, we need selfless visionary and transformational leaders to build it,” Prof Adei noted.
In his welcome address, Bishop Eric Kwapong, the Chief Executive Officer of TC and EKM, said “leadership is recognized as key to any country’s development effort; stating that “indeed countries that have developed have always been associated with one great leader at some point in their country’s history.”
“Today, leadership is not centred on an individual, but a critical mass of leaders in all spheres of societal development,” he added.
Bishop Kwapong said there was the need for good and quality leadership at all levels of Ghana’s development, be it governance and political leadership, business leadership, institutional, legislative and even church and religious leadership.
“This critical mass is needed for any country’s development, and Ghana is no exception,” Bishop Kwapong said.