There was a call for the sharpest minds; students from universities across the country interested in effective leadership development to join a bus – the Kufuor Scholars Program (KSP) Class of 2024 bus. Out of the thousands who heard the call and approached the bus, only 30 were fortunate to be a part of the prestigious KSP Class of 2024. And by God’s abundant grace, I was one of the fortunate few who were selected to join the program.
We set off on our 3-year journey in December 2021 and our first stop was at the house of His Excellency Former President John Agyekum Kufuor, who I will describe as the founder and brain behind the KSP bus. Grandpa Kufuor shared with us a bit about himself and his reason for establishing the John A. Kufuor Foundation, which eventually birthed the Kufuor Scholars Program, among several other initiatives. He said the objective of the foundation was to “drive the youth and bring out the best in them for effective leadership, governance, and development, not only in political affairs, but in all other areas and their chosen fields, for sustainable growth and development of themselves, Ghana, and Africa at large.” When I heard Grandpa Kufuor say this I said, “wow, that sounds very deep.”
We dined with him after he awarded us our certificate of admission with a fist bump. Having the opportunity to meet and dine with this wonderful leader man was one of the greatest moments of my life. We then set off on our first trip dubbed, “Bringing out the Best in You,” a 2-week intensive leadership camp at the Akenten Appiah – Menkah University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development (AAMUSTED), formerly known as the University of Education – Mampong campus. It was a really nice experience making new friends and building fresh connections and networks.
I got to visit some remote areas in Ghana, such as Miminaso and Accra Town (which is located on the Yeji Island). We had good conversations with the inhabitants and had the opportunity to be exposed to life in that part of Ghana. I was reminded of what Grandpa Kufuor said when we were in his house; “Accra has been overdeveloped in the country, but Accra is not Ghana.” This stirred up something within me that there’s more work to be done to help develop our nation, particularly in rural Ghana.
We received a lot of guest speakers at the camp whilst others connected with us virtually, and it was really wonderful getting to meet and learn from such accomplished people. We had the honour to meet the CEO of the John A. Kufuor Foundation Prof. Baffour Agyemang – Duah, the Member of Parliament for Pru East Dr. Kwabena Donkor, as well as accomplished professionals including doctors, lawyers, inspirational speakers, entrepreneurs, mentors, KSP alumni, among others.
When we met with Prof. Agyemang-Duah, he admonished us to make impact; to think differently and be innovative. He urged us to be creative and to add value to everything we do. That, he said, was the new normal. Something Dr. Pascal Brenya who is coordinator of the Kufuor Scholars Program also really struck a chord with me. “For your absence to be felt, your presence has to be impactful,” he said. It was a keen reminder that I need not rest on my laurels in all things I do. Dr. Brenya also taught us about the need to be confident and assertive, and to lead by example. He obviously led us by example during the camp meeting; waking up with us, serving our meals, eating with us, among others.
Dr. Adwoa Becham made me understand the importance of being a healthy scholar. No matter how big my dreams and aspirations are, I can’t accomplish them if I’m not healthy. Therefore, I need to take good care of my health, so I can live long and impart society longer. Obviously, the sharpest minds need the finest advice, and so I take this advice in earnest.
I learnt about my personal ecosystem, my strengths, weakness, and personal differences. As an aspiring leader, it is important for me to first know thy self before anything else. So, this was a good session for us all. We were taught to change something if we don’t want it or change the way we think about something if we can’t change it. I was encouraged to “dare to be much more.”
With regards to more work to be done, it was a pleasure working with such a wonderful team of Kufuor Scholars and I look forward to doing more with them to make this country and Africa a better place.
By Daniel Prince Owusu Larbi