• No 9, Sixth Circular Rd, Accra
  • +233 303969615 +233 502275820
  • No 9, Sixth Circular Rd, Accra
  • +233 303969615 +233 502275820

Reflections after a week’s camp with fellow Kufuor Scholars

By Eric Gadzi, Student – Ashesi University, Kufuor Scholars Program Class of 2023

As the old adage goes, “things end but memories never.” That is the summary of my impressions of the just ended leadership camp for new inductees of the Kufuor Scholars Program held at Ejura in the Ashanti Region from the 3rd of January 2021 to the 10th of January 2021.

The first day of the camp, 3rd January 2021, saw our departure from Accra and arrival at the

Ejura, where the first session unfolded. The first guest speaker was Dr.

Kwabena Donkor, the MP for Pru East and former Minister for Power. He spoke on the topic, “The Hope Of The Ghanaian Youth.” The key points in this lecture was that as a leader, one must be committed and passionate about his work. A profound statement he made sums up the lessons I learnt from his speech: “success is not accidental, but intentional”. I learnt that to be successful as a chartered accountant, I have to start putting plans in place to achieve that goal. This action plan involves being the best and most reliable person in this field and then working on becoming a chartered accountant by the end of my education at Ashesi University.

On 4th January, activities continued. The first activity of the day was reading the book, “Seven Principles of Wealth Creation,” with a focus on the second chapter titled “honesty and reliability.” The chapter talked about the fact that a reliable person is honest but an honest person is not necessarily reliable. It defines honesty as always telling the truth and reliability as a quality of dependability. From the readings, I learnt that when I take someone’s item and do not return it on time, I am not reliable. So, how do I fix that? I will set a timer to remind me when the time to return the item is due.

The second session was the vision board. Here each scholar created a visual representation of what they want to achieve on a board. After presentations of the visions of each person, I realised that my vision did not have a substantive plan to back it up. I am developing my action plan which I have broken down into key milestones till I reach the final success point.

The second session was on my learning strength. Here, we discussed effective ways of learning faster and better. I came to realise what learning style works best for me. I leant I am an introvert who likes to learn with visual aids. Something I am incorporating into my studies. I will use my phone to record all my notes and play them back to help me remember what I learnt.

Then there was the session on “The Need For Trust” by Coordinator of the Kufuor Scholars Program Dr. Pascal Brenya. The session as about a pilot who risked his life to save his teammates, and when he was asked why, said : “They would have done same for me”. This statement made me realise that trust is a key factor in building a nation. For this reason, I will work to keep trust among my friends by telling the truth and supporting them as much as I can.

The fourth session was a talk with the Ejura Municipal Assembly heads. There were discussions on education, agriculture and the financial standing of the municipal assembly. From the session, I learnt that there are a lot of challenges with agricultural production in the district and most fresh graduates do not like to be posted to the district for national service. I am going to start an advocacy campaign among my friends to accept whatever posting they are given for national service because it is a calling to help develop mother Ghana, and not just earn allowance.


The fifth session was by Prof. Baffuor Agyeman – Duah. In this session, he talked about how to identify opportunities in our environment by observing, reflecting, judging, acting and reflecting again. In this session, I learnt that seeing is beyond what the eyes could see. I am now going to carry notepad and record things I see around me. This act would enable me effectively reflect on things I observe in my environment and act on them appropriately.

And then there was the sixth session on Ivey Business School materials and the movie Invictus, which inspired me to start learning materials outside class to help develop competent skills in the field I find myself.

The third day of the camp started with the reading from the book; “The Seven Principle Of Wealth Creation.” Chapter 3 focuses on hard work. From the chapter, it was realised that to be successful, one must make it intentional and deliberate to make use of opportunities. Opportunities also favour those that have worked hard and prepared themselves. With these lessons learnt, I have understood why I have missed some opportunities in life. I have to discipline myself to work hard to be able to grab opportunities. Hard work moves in hand in hand with discipline.

The second session of that day was analysing a video by Simon Sinek on the topic: “the millennium question – this is exactly what’s wrong with this generation.” Simon talked about the things worrying this generation, namely; patience, environment, and self-esteem. I learnt that as a transformational leader in the making, I have to control my use of social media and technology as a whole. I am now going to use apps that regulate time spent on social media. It could alert me if I am spending more than 30 minutes on my social media pages.

The session continued with a ted talk by Sierra Leonean, Mallence Bart-Williams on the topic, ‘Chances, Challenges, Changes’. She talks about people who dare to change their society even when times were hard in Sierra Leone. These people have been able to attend tertiary education. From this ted talk, I learnt that opportunities can be created from difficult situations. It is through challenges, we create opportunities. At first when I see challenges, I run from it. But now, I will observe and reflect keenly to take advantage of it.

The activity that followed was a visitation to the Miminase No. 1 community. In the community, we interacted with the locals to understand their needs and burdens. From observation, the people were very displeased with how underdeveloped the community was when they always have to pay tolls and levies. Also, they had to travel longer distances to the Ejura community for education. Though they have bore hole water, they prefer to take the stream water. Because they are unwilling to let go of the water stream water, I will work with other stakeholders to begin a water purification project in the community soon.

This activity was followed by the watching of a movie titled “Courageous.” In the movie existed four officers who were dads and did not take parenting seriously. After one lost the daughter, the others made a commitment to be the best dads and husbands. From the movie, it was very obvious that an individual must be persistent and stand true to the values one holds. I am now dedicated to living a legacy of always standing for what is right and doing so. I have compromised a lot in the past but now I am standing up for what is good.

6th January 2021 at the camp began with a devotion on the topic, “Don’t Spend It All.” This chapter talked about the need to not spend all that one has but to save and invest later. I learnt to save at least 10% of monies I earn and not to spend all that I gain. I have opened a savings account which would earn me interest on the money I save there.

The first lecture for the day was on strategic management and leadership by Simon Sinek. He talked about how society is formed to defend and protect itself against externalities. Leaders selected also are given power to inspire and protect the followers in times of need.

The next lecture was given by Prof. Ralph Nyadu-Addo, a lecturer at KNUST. He spoke on Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Small Business Management. Prof. Nyadu-Addo also emphasized the need to be bold as an entrepreneur and to have good connections. I learnt not to disrespect people because I may not know when I may need their help. I am thus putting in strong efforts to revive and keep my contacts.


The activity that followed was an excursion to the Boaben-Fiema Wildlife Monkey Sanctuary in Boaben and Fiema. There, I learnt about the types of monkeys present namely; the black and white columbus and the mona monkeys. The presence of the monkeys is due to a white calicoed pot in the town. I learnt a great deal from the societal nature of the monkeys and how they accord respect to their leaders. One thing that was profound among them was the ability of the ‘alpha male’ to possess control and dominance of its territory without compromising. This act taught me not to let my guard down so that people do not cross their limits in their relationships with me.

We later watched ‘Flight,’ a movie in which pilot Whip Whitaker skillfully crashed a plane and was investigated and prosecuted. He had a drinking habit which he had managed to hide for a long time. In the end, he confessed to being drunk on the plane he crashed and was sentenced to prison. However, he found true liberation and freedom from telling the truth though it was a bitter pill. Telling the truth heals the soul. I henceforth sign a bond to tell the truth in everything I do.

7th January 2021 started with the reading of a daily devotion which had “Invest it” as the day’s topic. The chapter talked about various opportunities to invest the savings that one has in. The book notes that investment is one of the most interesting means of developing riches rather than only saving. I decided I will invest my savings in shares and bonds henceforth.

The next activity was watching a video on ‘why some countries are richer than others’. It became clear that geography and culture, as well as religion can play a major role in making a country rich or poor. As a result, I have to manage the time I spend on religious activities so that I won’t sleep on the church floor expecting manna to rain into my mouth but rather, after prayers, put in hard work to develop myself and country. “Entrepreneurship and design thinking” was the next session where we discussed the various types of entrepreneurs that exist and those that fit us for our skills set and nature we possess. This also led me to think about what my goal or mission in life was. I am still reflecting and thinking about what I would like to put in extra to make me distinct in the career path I have chosen. From the entrepreneurship session too, I got to understand that though I am right mind dominated, I have not really trained it well. I have started watching videos on activities that can help me improve the right side of my brain.

The next session was on “what factors lead to company success.” In teams of three, we scaled the factors, ideas, team, business model, funding, and timing when it comes to running a business. We realized that timing is all it takes for a business to be successful or unsuccessful. Introducing the right product at the right time in the right area would make it so easy for a business to succeed. As a leader, I have learnt to be time conscious and act appropriately when dealing with people.

Brain writing, the act of writing down ideas about a problem, is the next activity that followed. Here, we developed a lot of ideas about a central problem the group of three have agreed on solving. I learnt that brain storming brings a lot of ideas out of which a realistic path can be chosen. This technique of finding the solution to problems in my opinion would be very effective also in group studies. In this way, every member of the group would contribute to the topic being discussed.

“5 body tricks to make anyone instantly like you” is the next topic that was discussed. The session begun with a lecture video. It talked about the things that people do and destroy the opportunity of first impression or causes people not to pay attention to them. I learnt that it was very necessary to pay attention to who ever is speaking and avoid looking away. As a leader, my communication skills are important to me, hence I have started  implementing these skills in my house. When perfected, I would send them outside.

The next activity was a ted talk video on “7 ways to make a conversation with almost everyone.” One key statement that stood out for me in this talk was that smiling is always the first good impression to get people to talk to you. Sometimes, I am carried away by my activities and become so stiff and laser focused on it that I forget to smile at others. That will stop henceforth.

We then had a conversation with some senior scholars who talked about how the Kufuor Scholars Program has influenced their both lives home and abroad and made them unique. That was a very inspiring session.

8th January 2021 started with a devotion on the topic: “Know your History.” It talked about the importance of learning to know one’s past. It highlighted the story of a man who kept his tattered cloths when he became rich just to remind himself of the place he comes from so he doesn’t let his guard down. I realised that it is very important to understand my past and see a way forward in my future.

Then, we set off to Yeji. On the way, Dr. Pascal Brenya talked about time management and relationships. He talked about the need to create a to-do-list to help us have a clear idea of what the activities of the next day we want to invest energy in. One other trick he taught us was the need to have an activity time log that breaks the day into 30 minutes time intervals. Time wasters like gossiping, chit-chatting, social media, roaming, among others were to be avoided. I learnt I waste a lot of time on social media.Things will change henceforth.


Our visit to Yeji was epic. We had the opportunity to visit the Volta Lake and a community by it. Our visit would not have been completed without a surf on the Volta Lake. After that, we did a 30 minute community service in the community. One problem I realised was lack of employment in the community. Most of the youth depend solely on the water body for employment. The visit to the lake also involved a talk from the navy. They ensure safety on the lake. One thing I learnt from the navy was that it is very necessary for one to be disciplined and have integrity. As a leader, I have learnt that I am always at war and should always be prepared to face the hardest of hardships.

On return, we were treated to an inspirational lecture in the evening by Dr. Kwame Baah Frimpong, a pharmacist with several companies. He owns among others, a company that buys and sells corn. He spoke about the identification of problems and how to make money out of it. He inspired me a lot to step up my game and do more than I am doing currently. I have thus planned to start a business in my hometown. It would be agric based.

Dr. Pascal Brenya later took us through the MBTI test for us to know our personality traits. I came to learn that I am an INTJ. Which means, I am introverted, intuitive, thinking and judgemental. I also realised that the career pattern that I have chosen would not be suitable for my personality trait hence I have changed my course selection.

9th January 2021 began with the reading of chapter 7 of the book, “The Seven Principles for Success and Wealth Creation.” It was on the topic: “Fear God or Allah.” There is no way one can do anything without recognising the creator. It is helpful to have a healthy relationship between God and oneself. I learnt that I have to start living my life in a way that I would not offend my God and at the same time make a good impact in society.

The day formally begun with a ted talk from Julian Treasure on the topic: “How to speak so that people want to listen.” This session talked about smiling as much as possible to make people feel comfortable when listening. One should also not rush to speak fast, nor speak slowly. It must be moderate and paced. I have started my training exercise on how to speak fluently and concisely for people to be able to follow me effectively. I am doing this through youtube and practicing in the house with my relatives and family members.

The next session was by Samuel Koranteng Pipim. It was a video on the topic “Healed wounds but ugly scars.” He preached about the behaviour of Lot in the bible who settled in Sodom and Gomorrah, and the destruction that came upon the city. He talked about the how Lot hesitated to leave and that cost the life of his wife. The theme of his message was, it takes a simple wrong decision to mess up one’s life. Never hesitate to do what is good. After this sermon, I have vowed to be very careful with the things I do or even say with my mouth. My bond with God must increase.

Then, there was a zoom meeting with Madam Katy Addy of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) who taught us the role of the NCCE in national development. We learnt about the need for the youth to up their game by taking positions in public offices. From this session, I learnt also that patriotism does not end at complaining about the public sector corruption, but taking up positions and making a difference.

Then, we visited the Ejurahene’s palace where we witnessed traditions and customs at display. Here, I learnt a lot about the traditions of the kingdom. Something new I learnt was ‘kasa ekyire,’ meaning those speaking while the king is speaking should stop.

When we returned, we had a session on presentation skills by Dr. Pascal Brenya. He talked about skills such as firm posture, audible voice, good clothing and outward look like wearing traditional clothes that we should take seriously. I learnt that words are important but if your physical appearance is not up to par, it would distort the message one is trying to carry across.

The next session was a ted talk video by Dananajaya Hettiarachchi on the topic: “I see something in you but I don’t know what it is.” It talked about the potential that is recognisable in people. Each and everyone has a unique skills or abilities that might not be noticed at an early stage but through constant work and practice, it would come out. I am working strongly to discover my potentials and develop them rightfully.

After lunch, we watched a video titled, “The speech that made Obama president”. The speech was made at the 2008 presidential congress of the Democrats in the US. The analyst of the speech pointed out Obama’s acknowledgement of his presence on the stage being unlikely and then going forward to establish the trust that he Obama shares with the people. From the speech, I realised how much one must know his people, the culture and the right time and right message to deliver. As a public speaker, your posture and your words should go hand in hand. He won the heart of the people by being firm, courageous and honest with his people. I am putting measures in place to develop my public speaking capabilities.

After the video, there was guest speaker who visited. He was Nana Kontihene Odiasempa. He gave us a talk about the history and traditions of the Ejura people. One thing I learnt from the traditions of Ejura that amused me so much was the ban of expensive funerals. This intrigued so much that I would be writing a letter to the traditional council in my community to see if this too can be implemented there.


Then there was the elevator pitch session, during which Dr. Pascal Brenya taught scholars the skill of speaking to sell one’s values and personality in less than 3 minutes. I have started working on my elevator pitch.  

The last day commenced as usual with the book, “The Seven Principles for Success and Wealth Creation,” reading from chapter 8 which has the topic: “Be Patient.” Everything takes time and time is what controls everything. When we sow, it takes the courage to wait for it to be fruitful. I learnt from this chapter that patience is what I need to get to the top. If something is not right, I have to be forgiving of myself and take time to rework it for my good.

The first formal session of the day began with a talk from Michael Agyekum Addo, the author of the book, “The Seven Principles for Success and Wealth Creation”. He said that what inspired him to write the book was that the Europeans had books that worked for them but Africans do not have those books. He felt it was necessary to share with his people the things he did that helped him get to the top. I realised that he had a great sense of passion for the youth. I also learnt we can develop ourselves well and become influential in society if we work hard.

The next session was a talk from a Cameroonian mentee of Michael Agyekum. He talked to us about the need to implement what we have learnt. Not implementing what we have learnt “would be a waste of everybody’s time and resources,” he said. He then further said we are the ones that Africa is depending on to bring that change. If we fail, then Africa fails. His speech put a strong burden on my heart about the urgent need for a transformation of Africa and its economy.

The next activity was watching a movie titled, “Flight of Phoenix.” The movie was about an oil seeking research team that had to be transported back home from the desert after they failed to find oil. The captain of their plane, Thomas, did not heed to the advice of one of the passengers during a storm and ended up crushing the plane in the middle of the desert of nowhere. There was a fight for survival and how to return home. An expert in making toy plane motivated the people to make a plane. In the end, they escaped from desert robbers and flew out of there. I learnt a lot from the movie. The competence level of the personnel in the movie was really high. Each of the crew members on board knew exactly what they can do and do best. The captain knew how to lead and bring people together. The first officer knew how to put to work things that the captain wants to do. The engineers knew exactly how to put parts together. And that is how they achieved success.

In a nutshell, the camp has been one of the best ways to start a year. 2020 had left me doubting myself and my capabilities but this camp has revived and strengthened me to know that I am more than capable. One thing I cannot take for granted is the social community that it provided for me. It has been long since I sat with a group where everyone loves and cares for one other. I am so glad to have such a great experience at the beginning of the year. Indeed, I have done a lot of talking in previous years and little action has been seen. Now, I have learnt my lessons including what went wrong that must be done right. As a leader in the making, I have to discipline myself. Discipline comes with commitment. Commitment comes from careful planning and vision. Vision is a foresight of the future put on paper. I am going back to the drawing board to amend my ways and the goals I have set for myself.

Thank you to the John A. Kufuor Foundation, and thank you to the Kufuor Scholars Program for this insightful experience. God bless you.