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Opinions of Friday, 6 September 2002

Columnist: Acheampong, Kwame B.

The Rawlings Factor: Nurturing Statesmanship in Ghana

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 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.


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