March 22, 2016 – Franklin Cudjoe, President and CEO of leading African think tank, IMANI Centre for Policy and Education visited Ashesi to speak with students of the Leadership 3 class. His talk was on the theme Effective Leadership towards the making of A Good Society, drawing from Ghana’s 2015 State of the Nation’s Address.
Touching on sectors of the economy, he highlighted the gaps in Ghana’s leadership, and encouraged a culture of holding our leaders responsible for what they say. “We need young people to read widely and try to think and write some of these things from your own perspectives,” he said. “Also start asking some of these critical questions and do a deep analysis.”
Mr. Cudjoe further touched on the need for a leadership that is empathetic and responsible to the citizenry, emphasizing the need for depth in our national policies. “When one of your own decides to suppress you, then there’s a challenge,” he said. “Human dignity is at the center of every development. If that element of human dignity is lost, especially if you lose it to your own kind, it is the worst form of ostracization.”
Following the talk, Mr. Cudjoe addressed questions from the students while touching on the importance of leaving a legacy as leaders. In conclusion he stressed the need for the country’s policies to be focused on doing things that matter. “There are very few things in life that you can live for, and you want to leave a legacy,” he said. “ You do just one thing, and people remember you for years. What I think we should do is to focus on the things that matter; water, electricity, roads and health and education. However, good education and provision of water, for me, are key.”
Mr. Franklin Cudjoe is the Founding President and CEO for IMANI Centre for Policy and Education, Ghana’s leading and one of Africa’s leading think tank group. He currently sits on the Danish International Development Agency’s Board for the private sector. In 2015, he was chosen by the Australian Government for their Special Visitor’s Programme, and selected by the IMF for its 2015 Civil Society Fellows program. He was named Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2010, a fellow of the Africa Leadership Network in 2012, and the only named Think Tank Leader in “Top 50 Africans” List of the respected Africa Report Magazine in 2012.