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

The Kufuor Scholars Program Is A Lifetime Opportunity I Will Forever Cherish

Opportunity is indeed everywhere, but the key is developing the vision to see it. Under very interesting circumstances, I came across the opportunity to apply for the Kufuor Scholars Program in 2019 whilst at a poolside. Laughable right? It was just a week to the deadline and I hesitated initially but still went ahead and put in the application.


I was very elated when I was shortlisted for an interview but wasn’t so sure I would be selected due to the caliber of people I met at the interview. When I received an email in June 2019 that I had been selected for the program, I’m sure my whole community heard me scream. It is to date, one of the happiest moments of my life. Upon sober reflection on the rigorous selection process, I realized, just like Paulo Coelho that; “when you want something, all the universe will conspire to help you achieve it.”


A few weeks ago, as I received the John A. Kufuor Presidential Award for Leadership and Academic Excellence as I graduated from the program, I told myself this journey has been worth every single investment I have made in it.


Memories from the Kufuor Scholars Program

The Kufuor Scholars Program (KSP) is an initiative of the John A. Kufuor Foundation, an organization founded by former President John Agyekum Kufuor after he stepped down from office. The former president launched the Kufuor Scholars Program in 2014 to offer mentoring and coaching opportunities for tertiary students.

Elizabeth receives the John A. Kufuor Presidential Award for Leadership and Academic Excellence
Elizabeth receives the John A. Kufuor Presidential Award for Leadership and Academic Excellence


The initiative has the overarching objective of mentoring a critical mass of future change agents who are imbued with a strong sense of patriotism. It seeks to imbibe the former president’s effective leadership skills in these tertiary-level students so they can help develop the nation. The program organizes boot camps, mentoring sessions, workshops, and related activities that aim at transforming the lives of these young people. More than 150 young people have benefitted so far. The KSP recruits 25 to 30 students every year through a competitive application process to participate in a three-year-long training and mentorship program


I have a lot of memories from my time in the program. I would forever remember our summer camp which afforded me the opportunity to network with the other scholars. Traveling far from Accra to the hinterlands exposed me to the sad realities of life, where some people lived without basic amenities like clean water and electricity. These experiences humbled me and made me appreciate that though I am from a supportive family, poverty and hardships lie only a few miles from me. Hence the need to work hard to help make society a better place for all.


I also profoundly remember how I managed to deliver a three-hour speech during our in-house debate organized at the leadership camp. For every Kufuor Scholar, communicating effectively is a bonus skill you acquire after our leadership camps. Also, the program exposed me to the real world of leadership, patriotism, and service.

Elizabeth speaks at a University of Ghana event
Elizabeth speaks at a University of Ghana event


Lessons learned

Sitting under the feet of former President Kufuor and the voices of seasoned mentors has taught me to leave a legacy wherever I find myself as a leader. Above it all, KSP has taught me the value of integrity, initiative, and resilience. The KSP has taught me that irrespective of where I come from, I can make my story better and reach higher heights.


Expect nothing but the very best as I step out into the rest of the world.  With a relentless attitude, I plan to continue impacting society. I want to represent the interests of individuals and influence policymaking at the national and international levels as a career diplomat. I want to liaise with professionals worldwide to find long-lasting solutions to global challenges such as poverty, inequality, and climate change. With a unique passion for women and children’s issues, I will establish my own foundation that will focus on girl child education, gender-based violence, and women empowerment. Ultimately, I dream of leading my country one day. And the Kufuor Scholars Program has made me believe achieving all these dreams is possible.


Leadership and growing up

I grew up in a supportive family of five. Though I hail from Agona Asamang in the Ashanti Region, I was raised in five different regions due to the nature of my father’s work. This gave me the opportunity to live through varying life experiences. Growing up, I wasn’t sure what I wanted, let alone what I wanted to become in the future. One thing that I did know was that I wanted to be a leader, and I wanted to impact other lives. No wonder I ended up in the Kufuor Scholars Program. I would always volunteer to be a blackboard cleaner, a cupboard monitor, and the class prefect. At an early age of 12, I joined the Ponacka Kids Club, a platform that afforded me the privilege to participate in the formulation and launching of the Child and Family Welfare Policy in Ghana. I really have a lot of beautiful childhood memories.

Elizabeth Osei joins campaign againstdiscrimination
Elizabeth Osei joins campaign against discrimination



I attended Living Star School and Aggrey Memorial Senior High School where I served as the Girls’ Prefect in both institutions. My passion for gender-related issues perhaps started from there. Prior to entering the university, I worked with Valley View University Radio which exposed me to university life. At the University of Ghana where I read Political Science with Philosophy, I served in various capacities. I served as the Treasurer for the Political Science Student Association, the Women’s Commissioner for the University of Ghana Student Representative Council (SRC), the Campus Director for the UN Millennium Fellowship, and the President of the Kufuor Scholars Program – University of Ghana chapter, amongst several other positions. I was also privileged to become a member of the Clinton Global Initiative University. I got some of these opportunities through the Kufuor Scholars Program. All these roles have helped improve my analytical and problem-solving skills. I also learned a lot about teamwork.


Being a Kufuor Scholar taught me the need to prepare for the real world of work, hence I did a number of internships. I interned with the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation, the Kaeme Foundation, the Ministry of Works, and Housing, and the Parliament House of Ghana. I took advantage of the double track system COVID-19 presented to be a teacher at Greenvine International School while waiting to return to school.


To me, the Kufuor Scholars Program is an opportunity of a lifetime, and I am very grateful to the former president for investing in me. I cannot thank him enough for his benevolence and for allowing us to leverage his prestigious brand as young people to gain other opportunities. May God bless him so much. I am also grateful to the entire John A. Kufuor Foundation team for grooming me, especially my indefatigable coordinator Dr. Pascal Brenya, who always went the extra mile to see his scholars flourish. I am grateful!


By Elizabeth Dansoa Osei – Kufuor Scholars Program Class of 2022