Academic Prof. Audrey Gadzekpo has urged members of Kufuor Scholars Program (KSP) to be patriotic if they will be able to play a meaningful role in helping develop Ghana.
The Dean of the School of Information and Communication Studies at the University of Ghana told the young people during a virtual session that “the subject of patriotism is an important one for young people in the country.”
The webinar on Wednesday explored a number of topics including how to become relevant in your country, making your voice heard through constructive communication, and how to make your nation better for the next generation.
The Associate Professor at the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Ghana commended some measures taken by previous governments to inspire patriotism in Ghanaians.
“Under President Kufuor, we experimented with Ministry of Information and National Orientation. The ministry was to formulate a culture that challenges Ghanaians to do the best for oneself and country. Then they laid out pillars of national orientation,” she explained.
“We don’t have the ministry anymore,” she observed.
Prof. Gadzekpo identified having a can-do attitude as one of the prime attributes of patriotism. Prioritising Ghana first, as well as being positive and productive, were the other identified attributes. She urged the young people to make their voices heard and demand accountability from the powers that be. She also urged them to be accountable to themselves. “Find your purpose and relevance in life. It should aim at making the world a better place than you found it,” she told the students.
Prof. Gadzekpo also encouraged the young people to value Ghana’s democracy. “Don’t take democracy for granted. Take democracy seriously. Work to rid our political system of patronage, cynicism, and the ‘footsoldierism’ that has dominated our political landscape,” she said.
“Seeing our own law makers fighting in the chamber of parliament should give us a sense that democracy is fragile. We must strengthen our parliament’s oversight capacity and its independence,” Prof. Gadzekpo added.
Abigail Yayra Asarfo who is one of the scholars thanked Prof. Gadzekpo for the knowledge shared, noting it will inspire them to work towards achieving more for themselves and Ghana as a whole.
Elizabeth Dansoa Osei, a political science student at the University of Ghana observed the
“subject of patriotism is crucial because it speaks of our ability to be effective… the love we have for the country falls within that.”
Chief Executive Officer of the John A. Kufuor Foundation Prof. Baffour Agyemang – Duah said imbibing patriotism in young people is an important step in preparing them for a better future.
The Kufuor Scholars Program (KSP) is an initiative of the John A. Kufuor Foundation, an organization founded by former President John Agyekum Kufuor after he stepped down from office. The KSP seeks to imbibe effective leadership skills in tertiary level students so they can help develop the nation. The KSP recruits 25 to 30 students every year through a competitive application process to participate in a three-year long training and mentorship program.