By Emmanuel Asante Attakora, GNAAccra, Feb 28. GNA - Webster University Ghana as part of contributing to society through its public lectures has organised its fifth public lecture on the topic “African leadership and development: 21st century challenges to society” in Accra.
The one-day lecture addressed some pertinent issues in Africa in relation to the economies in African countries indicating significant growth rates, yet showing no proportionate improvement in the living standards and quality of life of people.
Dr. Leonard Suransky, Head of International Relations at Webster University Ghana, noted that majority of presidents in Africa are “too old and don’t want to step down” all because they have their “hands on the money”.
“Most African countries have presidents who are old and not willing to hand over power…the question one would ask is why?
“They have their hands on the money and in Africa the money is generally in the government and not the private sector…that is why they hang on there”.
In an interview with Ghana News Agency, Dr Suransky proposed that young people should have a stand and move from being followers of leaders and using the social media, where one would not need to go to any news house or media house to be heard.
According to Dr Suransky, the youth and the media should have a more democratic hold on leaders devoid of political biases and victimization.
“In south Africa there is an independent public protector, who is allowed to criticize the president and also go to the constitutional court and say you must pay for your wrongs”.
“We also need strong constitutions and fair justices, lawyers in our countries, as well as strong civil societies”.
Dr. Akosua Darkwah, Department of Sociology, University of Ghana (UG), in her presentation advised Africans to rise up and demand for accountability from their leaders.
According to her, for Africa to achieve anything meaningful in socio-economic developments, it would require a change of attitude among citizens on the continent.
The lecture, which was also to bridge the gap between the young and the old on matters of governance and leadership, also sought to find solutions to the menace in which Africa’s leaders, since independence had contributed to either perpetuating and/or solving these challenges facing the continent.
Webster is an American University based in St. Louis, Missouri with international campuses in nine countries including Ghana around the world. It gives students the opportunity of completing their degrees in any one of its network campuses in North America, Europe and Asia and also pays for their air ticket while they study abroad.
The school has added BSc in Computer Science to its undergraduate programmes in management, media communications, international relations and graduate programmes in international relations and business administration.