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Opinions of Friday, 23 September 2011

Columnist: Acheampong, Kwame B.

The Rawlings Factor: Nurturing Statesmanship in Ghana

By Kwame B. Acheampong

Feature Article | Fri, 06 Sep 2002

"Never despise small beginnings becuse the candle can do what the sun cannot do.ie Shine at nite" By: D.Basil

The creation and nurturing of political institutions and statesmanship cannot be overemphasized if true democracy can be instituted in Ghana. Certainly, our young democracy needs to grow and be nurtured; it therefore requires all the effort and support of individuals, parties in opposition and government to support and direct our country to achieve true democracy. Public utterances must be controlled to bring decorum and respect to the body politic of Ghana and her peace-loving people.

While it is appropriate for ex-President Rawlings to air his views about governance in the newfound freedom in Ghana, it is equally important he presents alternative views by engaging in proper dialogue with President Kufour to bring about the desire change for Ghana.

Surely, President Rawlings has had his turn. Ghana needs to be developed. It is therefore necessary that all Ghanaians and Friends of Ghana support President Kufour in his effort to manage the affairs of the young and fragile democracy of Ghana. Exchange of provacative words that can incite or inflame destabilization at this time of Ghana's development is not acceptable.

President Rawlings could spend some of his time in lucrative engagement that will nurture a future set of public officials. He could set up a School of Public Policy and Library where young graduates can be trained while interacting with practitioners of government and distinguished scholars in social sciences and public policy. He could occasionally lecture and further attract other personalities in public service to join him in this effort. He has the capacity and contacts to raise money from notable and wealthy friends, businessmen, former head of states and foundations.

His engagement in this scholarship will not only enhance his image but will help preserve and retain interest in public service for our young graduates. Noble statesmen all across the United States have their names associated or contributed to such cause: John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at University of Minnesota, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, George W.H. Bush School of Government and Public Policy at Texas A&M University and James Baker (a fine diplomat and ex-Sectary of State of the US) Institute of Public Policy at Rice University and The Carter Center at Emory University, just to mention a few.

Such an Institute/Center for Public Policy founded by President Rawlings could be well housed at the University of Development Studies in the North that he helped found.

There are other community duties and engagements that President Rawlings could spend his time and energy to support. His able friends and intellectuals should support him while he strives to project a good image of himself and his Party in opposition, National Democratic Congress-NDC.

Footnote: This feature article above was published in 2002 at Ghanaweb.com and later at Modernghana.com to spark conversation while engaging public interest in leadership particularly from our former heads of state and government.

It is gratifying to note that today, President John Agyekum Kufuor has launched a foundation to create a Center at the University of Ghana to serve this noble cause. Indeed, such a center would not only attract scholars to engage in public discourse but critically nuture young graduates to develop interest in public service.

It further signifies the milestone of Ghana's democracy and her special place in the comity of established democracies where good governance is practised.

The feature writer, a product and beneficiaryl of LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin attests to the importance such centers and institutions of higher learning. To this end, we whole-heartedly congratulate former President Kufuour for demonstrating his passion for democracy and nuturing of leadership in public service.