The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has asked African leaders to face the challenges confronting the continent and solve them.
He posits that there are leadership tools that can be used to resolve the seemingly unsurmountable problems, citing the examples of Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jnr among others, who confronted the challenges in their era.
“At some point, we cannot hide behind the problem because there is no problem which is insurmountable. When you are confronted with a problem, you need to reflect over it and apply yourself in order to come up with the appropriate solution,” he stated.
Mr Ofori-Atta was speaking on the Springboard, Your Virtual University, show on Joy FM, with Rev Albert Ocran. They discussed ALI West Africa (ALIWA) and the quest for a good society.
Mr Ofori-Atta revealed the other side of him, which is the development of leaders who are committed to the creation of a good society.
He disclosed that his passion for the creation of leaders is what led to the formation of the Africa Leadership Initiative, adding that the impetus to develop transformational leaders was triggered when he was invited to the Aspen Institute in Colorado, USA, in 2001.
On his return from the conference, as a Henry Crown Fellow, he started a leadership fellowship in West Africa, which has now grew from the initial 24 pioneer fellows to 422.
The Henry Crown Fellowship
Mr Ofori-Atta explained that the Henry Crown Fellowship, where it all began, was to look for individuals who had been successful in their respective fields and explore their individual successes into something significant for the good of their respective communities and the society at large.
“I was invited into the fellowship in a period which coincided with the dot-com era when a number of young people in the USA had become fabulously rich. And the question on the table was: ‘how do you translate your success, which is individualistic, into something significant that can impact your society’?
“I was lucky to have been invited to the programme through Mr Peter Reiling, who had been the Head of Technoserve Ghana and gone on to become President of Technoserve in the USA. Through his recommendation, I became the first African to be invited to the fellowship,” he disclosed.
He disclosed that it was this that gave birth to the Africa Leadership Initiative, West Africa (ALIWA). “The seed for my leadership project was first sown in Cape Coast with a class of 24, half from Ghana and the other half from Nigeria,” he said
Some of the renowned pioneer fellows from Ghana include Kwaku Sakyi-Addo, Board Chairman of National Communication Authority; Gloria Akuffo, Minister of Justice and Attorney-General; and Frank Adu Jnr, former Managing Director of CalBank.
ALIWA fellows in Ghana include President of Ashesi University, Dr Patrick Awuah, who won the McNulty prize; Mrs Essie Annoh-Sackey, co-founder of Legacy Girls College; and Dr Esi Ansah, CEO of Axis Human Capital.