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General News of Monday, 18 June 2018


‘Job for the boys’ culture hampering Ghana’s development – Irene Agyapong

A Professor of Public Health at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Professor Irene Agyapong, has described as unacceptable the practice where government machinery is used to employ party loyalists who may not necessarily have the required competence to serve in the public service.

According to her, the practice is affecting the country’s progress.

“Many of the problems we have in this country is because of this kind of mediocrity and under multi-party democracy which we have carried it into an art. We are gradually damaging and eroding our ministries and the public sector from the top because we are creating jobs for the boys under the excuse of loyalty.” In an interview with Citi News, Professor Irene Agyapong said it is essential to consider the competence level and skills of individuals along with academic credentials before offering employment in the public sector

“I will even go beyond first class and second upper. I will say check the competence of the person. What job do you expect them to do? Are they able to do the job? If on the other hand, the position of a research assistant is just to create employment and money for your friends, cronies and relatives then why don’t we say we are creating employment for our friends, cronies and relatives.”

Professor Irene Agyapong, who is also the chair of the scientific and technical advisory committee (STAC) of the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, also described individuals who employ party loyalists over qualified individuals as the “most incompetent.”


Her argument comes on the back of a debate in Parliament on the selection of research assistants for Members of Parliament.

Last week in Parliament, some MPs argued that trust and loyalty should be valued more than academic degrees in the selection of research assistants after some graduates recommended by the MPs for recruitment for research assistants were turned down for failing to meet the criteria.

In Ghana, MPs are required to have research assistants who have a minimum of first class and second upper bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees.

However, Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, while addressing the issue told Parliamentarians that the house would not lower its standards for the selection of research assistants.