President John Dramani Mahama says corruption weakens the rule of law and erodes the viability and legitimacy of the state.
He has also stated that corruption has devastating effects on the economic, political and social development of countries.
President Mahama made the remarks in a speech read on his behalf by the Minister of State in charge of Finance and Allied Institutions, Mr Fiifi Kwettey, at the African Biblical Leadership Initiative (ABLI) forum held in Accra.
He said corruption hampered economic growth and exacerbated poverty in the society.
“Most importantly, corruption is especially damaging to the poor and is referred to as the greatest obstacle to reducing poverty.” The challenge of corruption in our country and continent should therefore be of concern to each and everyone of us,” he said.
Held on the theme: “The missing factor in leadership” and organised by the Bible Society of Ghana, the forum brought together Christians from Ghana and abroad.
The three-day forum sought to transform leadership in Africa by promoting the use of the Bible as a tool for enhancing leadership.
Platform for development
According to the President, the ABLI platform should become one for searching and applying the appropriate ethical values to the lives of individuals to complement economic development in Africa.
“To make the world a better place, it is up to all of us who hold ourselves out as being religious to make these lofty ideals in our sacred writings practicable,” President Mahama said.
Leadership and good governance
Delivering the keynote address on leadership, Prof. Jerry Gana, a former cabinet minister in Nigeria, said the driving force of good governance was effective leadership.
To motivate people into acting positively, Prof. Gana said visionary leaders must be passionate about achieving results, and added that passion was an utmost motivation to get things done.
“It is this self-motivation which produces initiative from leaders. Visionary leaders do not wait for the future to come; they create it. They do not wait for others, they take the initiative to make new things happen,” he said.
In the process of translating visions into reality, Prof. Gana said leaders must have a clear sense of priority “because effective leadership has a lot to do with the wisdom of selecting a set of priorities”.
Prof. Gana said the true test of good governance was the degree to which a government delivered development projects, thereby guaranteeing certain rights such as the rights to quality education, sound healthcare and adequate housing.
“Good governance is, thus, about effective leadership skills which produce concrete results transparently. The objective of good governance is human development within the context of equity, fairness and social justice,” he said.
The Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina Woode, said Africa was an endowed continent and “this divine blessing should have translated Africa into a continent of healthy, hardworking, peaceful, loving, happy and prosperous people”.
“Sadly, the story that we find across the entire spectrum of our various societies is one of indiscipline, lawlessness, confusion, selfishness, hatred, violence, bribery and corruption,” she said.
The forum was moderated by Lord Paul Boateng, a member of the British House of Commons, and attended by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Ebo Barton-Odro, the clergy and other dignitaries.