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  • +233 303969615 +233 502275820

Esther Emmanuella Spio Writes: How The Kufuor Scholars Program Shaped Me

There is absolutely no doubt that my participation in the Kufuor Scholars Program (KSP) as a young tertiary student shaped me greatly. Through the program, I learned things and had experiences that being a university student alone could not have given me.

To give a brief context, the Kufuor Scholars Program was birthed and launched by the John A. Kufuor Foundation in 2015, under the chairmanship of His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor. After serving for 8 years as president, during which he was hailed repeatedly for displaying exemplary leadership that resonated across the African continent and beyond, it was time for him to set in motion a process that will imbibe those same skills in younger ones. The Kufuor Scholars Program was thus established with the vision to help raise good leaders to transform Ghana and Africa’s place in the world. The program seeks to add value to the formal education that scholars receive, by offering them specialized orientation through programmed mentorship, coaching, skills training, and experiential activities.

The Kufuor Scholars Program upholds the overarching and long-term goals of The John A. Kufuor Foundation, which are to promote effective leadership, good governance, and socio-economic development. We as scholars are nurtured to embrace good democratic governance as a developmental imperative and the framework for achieving social cohesion and peaceful co-existence. The Scholars Program has the objective of imbuing the youth with a strong sense of patriotism and integrity. Specifically, the program seeks to cultivate the next crop of transformational leaders; who are patriotic, selfless, and community-oriented. The Scholars Program also empowers young scholars with ethical problem-solving skills and creative thinking skills to ensure success in their respective careers, and prepare us for leadership roles in national development. We are trained to become agents of social change.

As an individual, the KSP has achieved all the above-mentioned objectives in my life and done even more. The sustained network of friends, mentors, and advisors, coupled with the transformational leadership training that I received during my three-year period as a Scholar, culminated in my present placement at the Ministry of Finance through the Emerging Public Leaders Fellowship Program. I am now an Assistant Budget Analyst with the UN System and Foundations Unit of the External Resource Mobilisation and Economic Relations Division at the ministry.


Believe me when I say that the KSP’s leadership training has been helpful in molding me into who I am today. Let me recount a typical experience. In my first month at the Ministry of Finance as a national service person, one of my senior colleagues challenged my claim to have schooled in Ghana. In his view, the ordinary “Ghanaian graduate” does not exude the same level of confidence, competence, and work ethic that I demonstrate in the execution of my duties. Such values, according to him, were common only among graduates from universities abroad or with foreign exposure. I was very clear in my mind that those values he spoke about are values I gained from the Kufuor Scholars Program.

The KSP’s training module equips one with skills in report writing, public speaking, effective communication, teamwork, problem-solving, volunteerism, and a commitment to community service; all of which are skills highly sort-after in the world of work today. KSP indeed adds experiential learning to the theoretical lessons that we receive in the classroom.

The spirit of growing and keeping a community is the other great skill I have acquired through my participation in the Kufuor Scholars Program. As members of the alumni Scholars’ group, we have on our own engaged in peer-mentoring where those with experiences in career guidance, post-graduate scholarship applications, and job interviews, reach out to help those who need such support. Furthermore, on the informal side, in ensuring a sense of connectedness, alumni Scholars across the various classes organise virtual sessions and other group hangouts to catch up with one another. These are some of the ways through which Scholars are trying to keep our bonds of friendship strong. These are lifetime bonds that will help us continue working together as a team to accelerate the development of Ghana and Africa, through quality leadership.

I can’t end this write-up without thanking H.E. President Kufuor, the CEO of the John A. Kufuor Foundation Prof. Baffour Agyemang – Duah, staff of the foundation, and KSP coordinator Dr. Pascal Brenya. I would also want to say a big thank you to the sponsors of the foundation whose constant efforts keep the chairman’s vision alive. Many thanks to the partners, mentors, friends, and allies of the foundation.

We are grateful for the opportunity to be called Kufuor Scholars. We will continue to live by the values of the former president. We as scholars are learning from the best. We will thus continue to do great things.

Long live His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor. Long live the Kufuor Scholars Program!

By Emmanuella Esther Spio / Kufuor Scholars Class of 2018

If you are touched by the experience of this young person and would want to support former President Kufuor’s vision to train more young people into effective leaders, please email the coordinator of the Kufuor Scholars Program Dr. Pascal Brenya at drpascal@kufuorscholarsprogram.com, or call +233 264 538 538