Atta Mills was embodiment of redefined leadership – Joyce Banda
Mrs. Joyce Banda, former President of Malawi, has hailed the leadership qualities of the late President John Evans Atta Mills, describing him as “an embodiment of a redefined leadership in the face of a changing world”.
She said his selfless posture and leadership qualities were what African leaders of today needed in the era where ‘power shift’ from the leader to the people was taking place across the continent.
Mrs. Banda was speaking on the topic: “Redefining Leadership, Moral and Ethical Leadership, a Must for Africa, The Case of Prof Atta Mills,” at the Fourth John Evans Atta Mills Commemorative Lecture on Monday.
It was organised by the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in partnership with the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) in furtherance of Professor Mills’ ideals and commitment to advancement of law and governance in Ghana and across Africa.
The lecture, on the theme: “Atta Mills the Servant Leader” was attended by high profile Ghanaians comprising diplomats, ministers of state, academia, politicians, traditional and religious leaders as well as family members.
Mrs. Banda said it was incumbent on African leaders to display greater sense of responsibility, courage, integrity and compassion for the average person to build on inclusiveness and love for all persons.
Mrs. Banda stressed the need for African leaders to prioritise the welfare of the people who gave them the mandate to exercise power over them and make it a guiding principle and driving force in their administrations.
She described President Mills as “a transformative leader” whose inclusive policy contributed to the unity, integration and stability of not only Ghana but the ECOWAS region and Africa as a whole.
She said President Atta Mills understood the institution of the Presidency, glorified its overwhelming responsibilities and discharged his duties with zeal which was and still an inspiration to the youth in Ghana and the rest of Africa.
“Atta Mills presents a different type of leadership, an epitome of new leadership and an embodiment of moral and servant leadership, exactly what Africa needs”.
The former Malawian President said that the course of late President Mills presented a vivid and rich picture of ideas of a transformative leader who assisted his people to achieve greater heights.
“President Mills looked at himself and the people of Ghana as agents of change, he believed in the people and his economic transformative leadership was manifested in the economic strides Ghana achieved during his time as President,” he said.
She said: “I was inspired by Prof. Mills’ love and faithfulness to God and his ability to forgive and his humility even in the seat of Presidency”.
“I have been with those in power, I have seen how those in power behave and use power. What I learnt from this great man we are honoring here is his love and faithfulness to God and his ability to forgive and his humility, a man who committed his life to serving mankind and doing common good,” she said.
Mrs. Banda said President Mills loved his people and did everything humanly possible to give Ghanaians peace with a simple reason that peace was a priceless gift that could propel the country into prosperity.
She said President Atta Mills rendered an extraordinary service to the people of Ghana, Africa and the World at large and was a big believer in the virtues of personal ambition, hard work and achievement and recognized the duty of the state to create social safety nets for the most vulnerable.
Mrs. Banda said President Mills was a citizen of the world who lived a life of humility and dedicated his life to the development of education as his contribution to intellectual development all over the world.
She said though dead, President Mills remained an oasis of knowledge where a lot could be drawn from to shape the political, social and economic lives of Africans.
She expressed the need for Africans to create the platform to remember, reflect and honour their falling heroes and take inspirations from their contributions and desire to protect the dignity and success of others.