Ghana needs leaders willing to be unpopular – Ashesi lecturer


A Human Resource Development Specialist, Dr. Esi Ansah, has identified one of Ghana’s problem as a lack of leaders willing to make unpopular decisions.

The Founder of Axis Capital, a talent recruitment company, said one of such decisions is insisting friends, family and party folks also follow due process and systems to obtain a public service.

Joined by a social activist Kinna Likimani, they complained on the Joy FM Super Morning Show about rampant clientelism in Ghana where people close to power circumvent the queue or obtain favours -even unreasonable ones.

Dr. Ansah called it a “wicked problem.”

Ghana’s High Commissioner to South Africa, George Ayisi Boateng, attracted backlash after he told pro-NPP students group, he will consider requests from party members above every other Ghanaian.

He kept his job and insisted “there is nothing to apologise for” despite the criticisms.

Dr. Esi Ansah said as a CEO, she also deals with the problem of associates, friends and family frequently requesting favours.

People send you CVs into your mail looking for a job and I tell them to “go back down” and engage the system through her subordinates, she said.

In Ghana, everybody with a problem wants to see the president, the Ashesi University lecturer expressed worry.

As she does, leaders in Ghana need to “push back” pressure from close associates to do things for them more quickly.

She called this style “tough love.”

But that will also require the leader ensuring the system is not bogged down by bureaucratic delays and exploitation by service providers who want money to push up a request, she explained.

She believes despite resistance a leader could face over this style, they will begin to appreciate his convictions and buy into this method.

Dr. Esi Ansah said Ghanaians will vote to keep such a leader in power even if they may not have initially liked the candidate.

It must begin with leaders “willing to lose something,” she demanded.



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