Paul Boateng underscores pivotal role of universities in fostering leadership 

By Iddi Yire 

Accra, June 18, GNA – Mr Paul Yaw Boateng, Member of the House of Lords of the United Kingdom, has underscored the pivotal role of higher educational institutions, such as universities in fostering leadership that is both innovative and service-oriented. 

He said this on Tuesday, when he delivered the keynote address at the University of Professional Studies, Accra’s (UPSA) 2024 Annual Leadership Lecture on the theme “Fulfilling the Promise – The Challenge of Leadership: Moving from Rhetoric to Delivery”. 

The lecture was designed to provide an intellectual platform for distinguished speakers from around the world to examine and discuss critical global and national issues pertinent to society and proffer suggestions for Ghana’s sustainable development. 

Among the high-profile personalities who attended the lecture were the First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo; Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Senior Presidential Advisor; Dr Kofi Koduah Sarpong, Chancellor, UPSA; Dr Kofi Ohene-Konadu, Chairman, UPSA Council and Professor Abednego Feehi Okoe Amartey, the Vice Chancellor of the UPSA. 

Mr Boateng, who lauded the critical role of academia in shaping leaders amid global challenges, reiterated that leadership and learning were indispensable to each other. 

“So, institutions of higher education like this one, therefore, have a critical role to play in producing and shaping leaders and informing the actions of leadership,” he said. 

“Evidence based, cost policy and for the scale of the problems our world faces at this time, and the complexity of the nature the multi-faceted nature of effective action required to address them demands a response that is based not on rhetoric alone.” 

On Ghana’s economy, Mr Boateng said it was high time the country moved away from reliance on foreign aid; adding that Ghana would not experience any significant growth since the dependence on external aid hindered progress. 

“Those great powers, who have fed and continue to feed on Africa’s resources with their willing collaborators, have pulled Africa down in an impoverished and conflicted posture,” Mr Boateng stated. 

“We are held down in an impoverished and conflicted gesture by the dependence on external aids and the great powers.” 

Professor Abednego Feehi Okoe Amartey, the Vice Chancellor of the UPSA, in his welcome remarks, noted that the UPSA Annual Leadership Lecture Series was established in 2017 as a platform to critically examine, deliberate, and discuss critical global and national issues pertinent to the society, and proffer solutions for Ghana’s development.  

He said year after year the Leadership Lecture Series had been useful and impactful platform with positive lessons and insights that had been relayed for total reflection; declaring that “in a world inundated with promises and visions, the journey from rhetoric to delivery stands as the ultimate test of leadership”.