Nineteen students have graduated from the Kufuor Scholars Program (KSP) after completing three years of leadership training. The occasion also saw the induction of 25 new scholars – the class of 2022 – who begin the 3-year long leadership training and mentoring program.
The graduation and induction ceremony in Accra was presided over by former President John Agyekum Kufuor. The United States Ambassador to Ghana Stephanie S. Sullivan was the Special Guest Speaker. Present were the parents, mentors and well-wishers of the scholars.
The Kufuor Scholars Program was initiated by the John A. Kufuor Foundation to prepare tertiary level students to become effective future leaders for the nation’s development by instilling in them the spirit of patriotism and leadership skills.
The 2019 class is the second graduating batch following an earlier graduation of the 2018 class last year. Introduced in 2015, four batches of scholars numbering almost 100 have been admitted so far into the program.
Noting the increasing interest in the program, Program Coordinator Dr. Pascal Brenya explained that this year more than 2,300 applications were received out of which only 25 could be admitted. He noted that 12 public and private universities and all the 16 regions in the country are duly represented in the program.
Addressing the scholars, former President Kufuor who is founder and chairman of the John A. Kufuor Foundation urged the scholars to strive always for excellence and to cultivate the habit of giving back. He told them he will continue to take keen interest in their personal development and will be monitoring their progress, assuring his doors will always be open to them. “You are now going to be my Ambassadors. You are going to represent me wherever you go henceforth. And I know you will not let me down… I am indeed blessed to have a group like you mirroring me! I am so proud of you all,” the former president said.
“Don’t go to just wish and hope for things to happen… The Ghana and Africa you want to see will not happen by chance. So go out there and decide to act and act in a manner that will make others miss you always,” President Kufuor added.
Ambassador Stephanie S. Sullivan who also spoke at the ceremony applauded the foundation “for transforming this vision (KSP) into action, guiding the youth towards effective leadership, good governance, and to assume civic roles as champions of socio-economic development.” She urged the scholars to take risks, try something new, and push beyond their comfort zone, saying “take every opportunity to learn and make the most of this program.”
Ambassador Sullivan commended the graduating scholars for their successes so far. She praised three of them – Felicity Yeboah Dokyi, Norbert Kwame Agbemenu, and Edem Kojo Doe – who founded the Menarche Initiative for successfully competing and winning $5,000 in seed funding in the USA last year. She expressed confidence that as a result of the training and experience, the scholars will be those future leaders who will transform Ghana and Africa. She admonished them not to think only of individual interests but the greater good of the country.
Chief Executive Officer of the John A. Kufuor Foundation Prof. Baffour Agyeman-Duah reaffirmed the foundation’s determination to prepare the country’s youth for future leadership. Noting leadership as the greatest deficit in Africa’s development, he called for transformation of society with leaders who are imbued with unparalleled integrity and a deep sense of patriotism.
Acknowledging that “today, it is the youth who are changing the world and running some of the world’s largest corporations and introducing technologies that are shaping our planet beyond our imagination,” Prof Agyeman-Duah urged the scholars to aim to bring Ghana into this global movement. “That’s why our commitment to the youth has remained unparalleled over the years,” he said. “We will continue to do more for young people because they have more energy and passion to make the world a better place than the older generation,” he concluded.