Tue, 15 Feb 2011 General News

I don't have to be president to influence political decisions- Dr. Joyce Aryee

By myjoyonline
Rev. Dr. Joyce Aryee, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of MinesRev. Dr. Joyce Aryee, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Reverend Dr. Joyce Aryee has revealed to that at almost 65 years, she has no ambitions of becoming, probably, the first female President of Ghana.

She is however not surprised at the fact that her name has been making the rounds about women who could steer the affairs of the nation at the highest level. When the question as to whether or not she had any presidential ambitions was posed, the dashing lady had a swift and unequivocal response: “I may be good at what I do but I do not have that ambition. No, I don't. I don't belong to a political party. I don't think that this thing about independent candidates running in our situation where we have chosen party politics is the way to go.”

Explaining her reason for not acceding to the “independent candidate's” phenomenon creeping into the Ghanaian body politic, Rev. Dr. Aryee said “I don't think we should be going towards it because we have a parliament. That parliament works along party lines and you need a critical mass of people who believe strongly in what you stand for. You know, I haven't seen this independent phenomenon working anywhere in any country; not yet.”

So why is she not a member of a political party? Rev. Dr. Aryee believes it is down to her personal flaw. “I think it is a flaw in my own character, if I can call it that way. I am such a purist, such a purist that I see myself as always pushing for the pure and finding it difficult to compromise on some strong principles [but] the world is not a population of one - myself. I have found myself outside the party political structure but still very passionate about politics because I think politics is about the way our country is run, the way our ideas are formed, the way we do business, the way we tackle educational issues, the way we tackle social issues, what kind of roads are we building? That is all politics and I feel very strongly about it.” Even as a strong team player, the consummate advocate for Christ fears she will not be a good-strong-party-political person.

“I am a team player but as I said, there is probably a certain flaw in my own character and I have to work it out. At this age though, when am I going to do that? Maybe basically, it is also about my own fears. Growing up, I found that any time I joined a group, I get pushed into the leadership position and there have been times that I have deliberately avoided being part of a group because I know I will be given a leadership position and those are some of my own flaws which I guess I should work on,” she intimated, adding humorously that “luckily by the time I finish working on it, I will be too old to be the president of Ghana.”

Even though she does not habour any such ambitions, her passion for politics enables her to actively participate in political decision making. In her view individuals can help in diverse ways to build the nation.

“I do help in building the nation in many ways. This is where I also think that many of us should also recognize that politicians are a few. Those who would be in parliament are few. Those who will be in the executive as the president, vice-president, cabinet members; these are few. Those who will be district chief executives are few.

"The country runs on those of us who are willing to push the ideas that come; those of us who are even willing to be part of the groundswell of lifting ideas up for the politicians to look at.”

Rev. Dr. Aryee believes , citizens, the major power brokers in political decision making, are very integral to the process and cannot be taken for granted by any politician. She insisted that it will be a shame if we thought that the only way to influence decisions is by directly getting involved in holding political positions.

“Now remember that those who even run for the presidency require the inputs from you and from me. They can't know it all so if there is a way in which we even help the laws of the country to run, we are helping the country... So you definitely need the political leadership but that political leadership would be very constrained and totally undermined if there were no people that they are leading who will also add impetus to whatever ideas they bring,” she maintained.

To Rev. Dr. Aryee, “we, as a people mustn't all seek to hold political post; we must seek to do what we need to do to make the country run and seen well.”

Story by Derick Romeo Adogla/