Sir Sam Jonah recommends ethical leadership to rescue Africa
Chancellor of University of Cape Coast (UCC) Sir Samuel Esson Jonah has observed that Africa’s underdevelopment can be attributed to the kind of leaders the continent has produced over the last years.
He insists that much of the post-independence aspirations of the continent have not been realised due to the kind of leaders churned out.
For him, what will lift Africa from the doldrums will be having leaders with ethics.
“As someone who has travelled widely and done business across several African countries, I see first-hand the gaps in governance and the difficult issues of development directly,” he said.
“Undoubtedly, the post-independence aspirations for development in most African countries have not been realised. Poverty, infrastructural deficit, sub-standard education, unemployment are creating an environment which is engendering a sense of hopelessness and despair amongst the general populace and especially amongst the youth.
“It is generally agreed that in a large measure, the problem has to do with a lack of ethical leadership at all levels of society manifesting in blatant corruption in many of our institutions; a judiciary which is perceived not to render justice, parliaments which for whatever reason are unable to keep the executive in check; the media which must keep governments in check but cannot do so because they are compromised.”
Sir Sam Jonah made these observations while addressing the 2022 graduating class of Ashesi University on Saturday, June 4.
He was the Commencement Guest Speaker at the 18th graduation ceremony, which also coincided with 20 years since the establishment of Ashesi University.
The business magnate bemoaned how constitutions are changed to suit the whims and caprices of power-drunk leaders on the continent, accountability being alien to most of them and their lack of the mentality to leave a legacy.
He, therefore, charged the graduands to make a conscious effort to venture into public service.
“If indeed the African problem is a direct consequence of lack of ethical leadership, then is it not a shame that Ashesi’s graduates in whom the principles of ethics have have been instilled are not venturing into the one area where they can have the most impact? Ashesi graduates should not only be in industry and the private sector.”
For the former Board Member of the Ashesi University, it is when alumni of the school find themselves in public leadership roles that the other sectors they have been trained in will have real impact.
“You are the generation of ethical leaders Africa needs to inspire the reconstruction of its civil services. We need your ethical leadership in public corporations. We need your ethical leadership across Africa’s parliaments. We need your ethical leadership in Africa’s courts. We need your ethical leadership as Ministers of State; and we sure need your ethical leadership across Africa’s presidential palaces”.
Meanwhile, Sir Jonah also extolled some accomplished Ghanaian women for breaking the glass ceiling to the top of their careers.