Vision in Leadership
Vision is a bedmate to leadership. Unfortunately not all leaders have vision. It is the visionary leadership of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah that led to the building of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in the 50`s. A University whose engineers were to fill the manpower demands 70 years later. As I write, 90% of engineers operating ECG and allied operations were trained in KNUST.
The vision of former President J.J. Rawlings in the 80`s and the 90`s ; transformed the Technical Schools into Polytechnics. 30-40 years later the growing number of industries have no problems accessing their human resource demands.
The vision of HE President John Mahama led him to promise Ghanaians in the NDC manifesto that he would gradually turn the Polytechnics into Technical Universities. The ordinary Ghanaian might not find it necessary at this time. His Excellency the President however is looking at the pictorial vision of Ghana in the next 70-100 years. If the pictures should materialize, then he should start now; creating the Technical Universities.
Our Atomic Energy Commission is now convinced that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is the way forward. Nigeria has laboratories sending rockets to space, Ghana would sooner than later be planning for Space Research and rocket Science to support our tele communication. Soon GNPC`s oil exploration unit would be expanding at higher rates to take control over exploration in the next 50 – 70 years in our territorial waters and beyond. In about 70 years we would be manufacturing cars, trains, possibly aircraft among others. As I write, engineers such as Rev. Osafo Kantanka are pressing for production plants. With some financial support, production would have started. All these Industries require adequate quality human resource supply which can come from Technical Universities.
It is important to note, that Universities of Science and Technology are not the same as Technical Universities. The mandates are not the same. Universities of Science and Technology principally have the mandate to train human resource, who can operate and also research in the construction of pharmaceutical, biological, food canning and agricultural industries among others. Technical Universities are mandated to produce among others human resource that can operate and also research in the production of hardware such as cars, trains, aircrafts, military hardware etc. During the second world war, there were several Universities in Germany; It was however Technical University of Berlin and the Technical University of Aachen that were researching and producing the military hardware and powerful submarines.
Initially as developing country, our Technical Schools were to produce carpenters, masons, and mechanics among others. Our Polytechnics added among others courses such as radiography, laboratory technician and other engineering courses. As a middle income country, our Technical Universities will train human resource to research and operate complex engineering hardware to be produced in the next 70-100 years.
In this analysis, we focus on the relevance of Technical Universities in long term National Development policy, and seek to congratulate HE President John Mahama for his vision in Leadership. It is worth noting that this is not the first time the leadership qualities of HE President Mahama has been projected. In December 2014, the United Nations General Secretary – Ban Ki Moon- applauded the Leadership qualities of HE President Mahama as a result of his excellent handling of the Ebola crises. His wise leadership led to the rapid solution to the National turbulence in Burkina Faso. As a result his colleagues, ECOWAS leaders, endorsed his good leadership qualities by extending his leadership mandate by one year.
Hei, let us wake up; we have made this mistake before. While other countries were praising Dr. Nkrumah for his visionary leadership, Ghanaians overthrew him in a coup d`etat and replaced him later with Prime Minister Dr Kofi Abrefa Busia. The visionless Prime Minister`s first move was to expel Nigerians from Ghana and above all to dismantle the Nuclear Energy Plant ; selling it off as scrap. This is the true cause of the “dumsor dumsor”. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the visionary knew that apart from Akosombo Hydroelectric Plant, Ghana would need a nuclear energy to prevent energy crises 50-70 years later.
Now Nkrumah is gone to the ancestors and has sent us Mahama another visionary. Let us not make the same mistake looking through the blind side of our eye. Indeed there is no person in the opposition NPP that can replace Mahama ; at least not for now. Let us support him and give him the mandate in 2016.