Former President John Agyekum Kufuor is urging his scholars to exhibit high levels of integrity as they step out into the world of work.
The former president wants members of the Kufuor Scholars Program known as the Kufuor Scholars to additionally display honesty in all things they do, so other young people can emulate.
“Integrity and love for humanity is the core quality of a successful leader. Having integrity means being totally honest and truthful in every part of your life,” President Kufuor said. “Our youth must learn to act with integrity and be truthful, accountable, and reliable to both young and the old,” he added.
President Kufuor made these remarks at the graduation ceremony for the Kufuor Scholars Class of 2022. The event at the University of Ghana Business School also served as the induction ceremony for the Kufuor Scholars Program Class of 2025.
The former president launched the Kufuor Scholars Program in 2014 to offer mentoring and coaching opportunities for tertiary students.
The initiative run by the John A. Kufuor Foundation has the overarching objective of mentoring a critical mass of future change agents who are imbued with a strong sense of patriotism.
It seeks to imbibe the former president’s effective leadership skills in these tertiary-level students so they can help develop the nation. Recruited tertiary students spend 3 years in the program during which they receive mentoring and leadership training. More than 150 young people have benefitted so far.
Prof. Baffour Agyeman-Duah, chief executive officer of The John A. Kufuor Foundation explained the Kufuor Scholars Program (KSP) focuses on adding value to those it recruits.
“It aims to add value to the formal education they get at the tertiary level by providing specialized orientation through programmed mentorship, skills, and experiential activities,” he said.
“The program is expected to produce leaders imbued with a strong sense of patriotism, innovative, problem solvers, creative thinkers, and knowledgeable in their respective fields of endeavor,” he added.
Coordinator of the Kufuor Scholars Program, Dr. Pascal Brenya told the ceremony the program seeks to deliberately identify young people who are passionate about leadership so they can be groomed. “It’s not just about being good in academics. We want to shift focus from the kind of leadership where people are articulate but empty. So, we looked at a whole lot of physiological build-ups of individuals, the person’s ability and willingness,” he said.
Favour Peters who spoke on behalf of the Scholars thanked former president Kufuor for instituting the initiative. “We are going to do our best for the continent of Africa. We have a burning desire to lead through the change we all want for mother Africa,” she said.
“The program has really been impactful for me. It's one of the best things that have happened in my life. This program has taught me to be innovative and creative. To think outside the box. And I believe I will be able to excel wherever I find myself thanks to the Kufuor Scholars Program,” another Scholar Elizabeth Osei said in an interview.
Kwame Sefa Kayi, a broadcast journalist with Accra-based Peace FM who delivered the keynote address, admonished the Scholars not to relent in their efforts to help make Africa a better place. “The African continent we see today is facing a leadership crisis and for a country to be successful it needs a good leader.
“Everything we do starts and ends with leadership; take this very important opportunity very seriously because others are crying to have it,” he said.
“No matter what the challenges or glitches will be, keep moving; never stop moving you will surely get to your destination,” he told the Scholars.