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Do Ghana's political parties have succession plans? - Dr. Kwame Aduhene-Kwarteng asks

Feature Article Do Ghana's political parties have succession plans? - Dr. Kwame Aduhene-Kwarteng asks
FRI, 02 FEB 2024 LISTEN

Ghanaian political parties have difficulty selecting a replacement for their flagbearer and other party leaders in the event of their unexpected departure. Given the recent comments by some Ghanaian politicians about the significant number of experienced legislators leaving Ghana's parliament and the potential negative consequences on its effectiveness, it is imperative for political parties in Ghana to look at that and start having strategies to address that lapse. The statement or observation above may provoke opposition from specific individuals due to the unequivocal statement by a politician affiliated with a political party in the nation that their party does not function as a chieftaincy institution dedicated to succession planning (GNA, 07/09/2023).

My observation or statement is based on the premise that effective succession planning is critical to any long-term organizational success because it ensures that organizations (political parties) have the right people to drive the organization forward by putting resources into leadership development and planning for future vacancies. The failure of a political party or organization to implement succession planning can result in substantial direct and indirect expenses for the party. Organizations that must prepare for leadership transitions risk losing their most talented members. Unsurprisingly, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the New Patriotic Party's Minister for Communications and Digitalization is wailing over the plethora of seasoned legislators leaving parliament after 2024.

The New Patriotic Party has been drumming into the ears of Ghanaians that they possess the necessary personnel to lead the country. However, it never occurred to me that the Minister for Communications and Digitalization would publicly express concern that the significant number of legislators leaving parliament would hurt parliamentary performance and practical discussions in the 9th parliament of the fourth republic of the country. Does that mean Political parties in the country have succession strategies but refuse to use them, or was she referring to her political party, NPP, which is about to lose a chunk of legislators due to voluntary retirements, or was she referring to all the political parties in the country?

Political parties everywhere should remember that an increased number and frequency of retirements is a fact in every industry; therefore, this issue occasionally confronts local and national governments. Succession planning that is continuous, purposeful, and organized in identifying qualified and suitable successors to leadership, as well as in its dedication to investing in and developing these future leaders to improve the organization's performance, can assist in overcoming this obstacle. Indeed, a political party without a succession plan loses key personnel without suitable replacements. In that case, a political party risks forfeiting institutional knowledge.

The loss of knowledgeable politicians can impede a party's capacity to effectively respond to shifts in the political climate, ultimately resulting in a decline in competitive advantage and performance. Additionally, political parties in Ghana must recognize that implementing a succession plan guarantees leadership continuity. It ensures a seamless and consistent transfer of leadership because the proactive identification and development of prospective leaders serve to mitigate the risk of critical position disruptions caused by unanticipated retirements or departures.

Furthermore, succession planning enables the seamless transmission of knowledge and expertise from seasoned leaders to their heirs. The practice aids in conserving organizational memory, culture, and valuable expertise acquired throughout the years. It ensures that crucial competencies and knowledge remain intact within the party, notwithstanding transitions in leadership. Through succession planning strategies, political parties can establish a robust pipeline of future leaders, increase followers' engagement, and foster sustained success. It creates a consistent supply of competent leaders to navigate evolving political environments.

Failing to have a succession strategy results in losing talent and expertise caused by unexpected departures or retirement of seasoned politicians. It also leads to appointing a successor who needs more personal ambition, dedication, skills, training, and education. It is worth emphasizing that when a leader departs a party, there is a clear void to fill. Without a defined succession plan, party members fight for the job and participate in power battles to fill the empty seats. These power clashes create a turbulent work climate, making others feel uninspired to execute their duties. Therefore, political parties in the country need to have a succession plan to forestall the unanticipated departure of seasoned legislators.

By Dr. Kwame Aduhene-Kwarteng

Which team do you think has the higher chance of winning the 2024 elections?

Started: 02-07-2024 | Ends: 31-10-2024

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