Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Founder and 1st President of Ghana, and former President Nelson Mandela of South Africa are two great African personalities who had a deeper understanding of their roles as leaders; and did not lose their focus but kept their eyes on the vision to liberate their countries and Africa from the political and economic stranglehold of colonialists.
According to Prof. Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemeng, the 2020 NDC running-mate to ex-President John Dramani Mahama, the focus of the two late presidents “was not self-serving, nepotistic and lacking in direction; they were highly interested in and demonstrated a passion for their country and continent”.
She made historical references, for example, to the concern of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of blessed memory about the artificial borders carved and imposed by colonialism, and called for the current generation to “constantly interrogate them as an important way of reuniting the continent”.
Prof. Opoku-Agyemang, former Minister of Education and first female Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, made the assertion at the conference on ‘Osagyefo and the Madiba: Global Africa in Search of Transformational Leadership in the 21st Century’ organised by the Kwame Nkrumah Centre for Ideology, Governance and Leadership, held at the University of Ghana as part of activities to mark Ghana’s Founders’ Day.
She was at the event to represent former President, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, who could not honour the invitation due to unforeseen circumstances beyond his control.
She called for a dispassionate analysis and dialogue on how Africa has been run and the need to change the discourse of “we have the potential” to “realising that potential in practical outcomes”.
In apparent reference to recent developments in the country, Prof. Naana Opoku-Agyemang disclosed that: “The use of violence, brute force, intimidation and disenfranchisement meted out to our youth – including those who went on a simple protest march on the one hand, and the other deep, incredible levels of corruption, insensitivity and disrespect for the rule of law, coupled with the silence of once-vociferous voices – are the building blocks of apathy, anarchy and eventual collapse of our nation’s organisations”.
She expressed appreciation to the Kwame Nkrumah Centre for Ideology, Governance and Leadership – organisers of the conference – for bringing the two icons of Africa to the forecourt of continental attention and recognition, thus providing the opportunity to remember their legacies.