The Foundation introduced the Kufuor Scholars Program in 2015 in response to the challenge of leadership in Ghana and Africa. The program recognizes leadership as the critical element in a nation’s development, confirming that every generation has a duty to secure the future by grooming its youth toward effective leadership roles.
Successive generations of Ghanaian youth have been instrumental in the nation’s progress. As the country consolidates democratic governance and achieves the middle-income status, the preparedness of the youth for leadership roles will even be more crucial.
For Ghana’s resilience and progress, it is essential for the youth to build and sustain a strong sense of patriotism and positive nationalism, even as they become globalized. The capacity of the current generation of youth to transport the country into a future of stability, prosperity and sustained development in a globalized world is of prime interest.
Indeed, the country’s survivability and viability in a competitive world will depend largely on the ability of the youth to lead and meet this challenge.
Accordingly, a new crop of leaders who are able to withstand the emerging challenge and respond to the ever-increasing demands of our time is imperative; leaders with character, integrity and unalloyed loyalty to the nation. The emerging order calls for specialized orientation and character formation for the youth as well as upgrading their knowledge and skills so as to be pace-setters in their respective fields of endeavor.
The Scholars Program seeks to provide the required specialized preparation for young people, targeting those in tertiary institutions, who have completed at least one year of studies. The primary aim is to add value to the formal education at the tertiary level by providing specialized orientation through programmed mentorship, occasional lectures and seminars, internships, leadership camps, experiential activities, knowledge and skills training and stipends. Selected candidates undergo three years of preparation.
How candidates were selected
A 3-person Selection Committee from outside the Foundation was set up, comprising of a professor of communications, a senior banker, and a seasoned human resource practitioner. Following announcements in the media the committee reviewed the applications submitted. The requirements included essays, recommendation letters, academic transcripts, and, finally, interviews.
The first call for applications in 2015 attracted more than 500 entries, out which 50 were shortlisted.
Twenty of the shortlisted were invited for interview after which 14 were recommended for final selection. The group comprised 8 females and 6 males who were formally inducted as Kufuor Scholars on 9 February 2016.
The panel used the following criteria in selecting the final candidates:
- Demonstrable leadership qualities
- Communication skills
- Familiarity with critical national and global issues
The 14 pioneer scholars were drawn from the University of Ghana, Webster University, University of Cape Coast, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, and the Ghana Institute for Management Public Administration (GIMPA). Consistent with the Foundation’s core values of equity, inclusion and fairness, the group represented the diversity of the country in terms of region and ethnicity.
Key Activities and Results
The scholars read books on leadership, including Bill Newman’s Ten Laws of Leadership and Bob Stewart’sLeadership under Pressure. These books contain leadership theories, practices, and personality traits, success stories of leadership actions, traits and habits that promote or hinder effective leadership.
In July 2016 the African Plantations for Sustainable
Development (APSD) hosted a two-week
Leadership Camp for the KSP.
The scholars learn the theory and practice of leadership in interactive ways. They bond as a group and developed a corporate image as Kufuor Scholars; experienced life in rural settings and developed thoughts on engineering rural development; observed leadership in practice by visiting a number of individuals in leadership positions in the communities and district, including traditional rulers.
Two of the scholars, Mohammed Salman and Adutwumwaa Owusu Sarpong, participated in the 3-week 2016 BXAI Summer Leadership Program at Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan. They were selected competitively to join 134 other participants from various universities in Asia. This international leadership training exposed the two KSP scholars to multicultural leadership learning, networking and practices of effective leadership in Asia.
In the first week of November 2016, the scholars and their patron, H.E President Kufuor held a three-hour meeting to exchange ideas on issues of leadership and development in Ghana and Africa. He related his contribution to how his personal leadership strategies supported his accomplishments as President of Ghana and on the global stage. The event was streamed live on CitiFm Radio.
On 10 November, the Scholars were introduced to their mentors and coaches during a dinner at the Foundation premises. The event was attended by two board members Ms. Whitaker and Mr. Kwadwo Mpiani, as well as other highly placed professionals (more than 60 guests).
For further information contact : www.kufuorscholars.org