Accra, March 16, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Wednesday noted that any political leader must have competence and good temperament, but such virtues could not be discovered until the politician was exposed to politics in a practical way.
President Kufuor said this when he swore into office 18 Deputy Ministers made up of 14 men and four women at the Castle, Osu. He administered the Oaths of Allegiance, Office and Secrecy and presented them with their Instruments of Appointment.
President Kufuor expressed regret that women in the past shunned politics and the 2004 general election was the first time they came up in their own way to participate in politics.
"I am encouraged to begin to expose the women to practical politics. If they hold the position provided them with that temperament to convince the public that they are ready to hold on to the positions on the political front, I will promote them to full Ministerial status side-by-side with the men."
President Kufuor said the Government was making progress to support and partner women in the building of the nation.
He said although the number was not up to the required parity with men, "I will appeal to the women to be patient and agree with me that we are making progress."
President Kufuor said politics was different from other professions and political appointments were not made only on competence because women were proving to be as good as men. He said women were much better in many ways than men in the management of the home and in the markets and this showed they were competent.
President Kufuor said as Deputy Ministers when policy decisions were taken, "you operate between the Minister and the Civil Servants for the Ministry. To use their experience, therefore, you should have very good human relations with them."
He said the Civil Service was an integral part of governance because without the Civil Service, Government machinery could not function effectively and efficiently.
President Kufuor told the deputy ministers that when they adopted any confrontational attitude with the Civil Servants they would do so at their own peril.
He said to be able to use the expertise of the Civil Servants they should respect their views even though they were political leaders in the Ministry.
"Show respect to the Civil Servants to be at your service to perform well.... You should not go into the Ministries and turn yourselves into bureaucrats, otherwise you cannot perform your political roles with the people. You should be good administrators and field politicians.
"Most of you are young; take your time and grow into future political leaders in Ghana."
Ms Anna Nyamekye, Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), pledged that they would not let the Government and nation down.
"We recognize that Deputy Ministers are to assist their Ministers in the administration of the Ministries. We pledge to perform to the best of our ability for the success of Ghana's socio-economic development," she added.
Those sworn in were Mr Joe Ghartey, Deputy Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah and Mrs Angelina Baiden Amissah, both Deputy Ministers of Education and Sports.
The rest were Mr William Ofori Boafo, Deputy Minister of Defence, Mr I. Kofi Poku-Adusei, Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development and Mr Andrews Adjei Yeboah, Deputy Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines.
The three Deputy Ministers of Food and Agriculture sworn into office were Mr Clement Nyivorli L. Eledi, Mrs Anna Nyamekye and Dr W. Nii Okai Hammond.
The others were Miss Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Deputy Minister for Works and Housing, Dr C.Y. Brempong-Yeboah, Deputy Minister of Manpower, Youth and Employment, Mr Moses Dani Baah, Deputy Minister of Private Sector Development and PSI.
The rest were Mr Kwadwo Affram Asiedu, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Magnus Opare-Asamoah, Deputy Minister of Road and Transport and Mr Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, Deputy Minister of Tourism and Modernisation of the Capital City. Two Deputy Regional Ministers sworn in were, Ms Patricia Appiagyei for Ashanti and Mr George Hikah Benson for Upper West. Among those present at the ceremony was Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama.