A Day Spent at the iLEAD summit Part 3

Feature Article of Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Columnist: Akpah, Prince

Commencing session two of the summit was Mr. Anis Haffar, a
teacher and founder of the Gate Institute, thrilled participants as he started
with the unexpected. A white man in Ghana speaking Twi! Wow to relieve us of
the suspense, he told us of how he started school in Ghana precisely Kumasi,
and within a year was able to speak and write both Twi and English very well and
also attended Mfantsipim SHS in cape coast.

Using two icons in our country’s history;

1. Ephraim Amu: who was able to make his own instrument for his personal use
and also to fit the local musical tones. Using him as an example he encouraged
and challenged us to make our own instruments-innovations.

2. Dr Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of our nation, Ghana. He seeing the
importance of owning a local bank where only foreign banks were operating in
the country setup and established the Ghana Commercial Bank, where he withdrew
bankers from the foreign banks to work in our own bank which was purely Ghanaian,
Ghanaians as workers. Citing some major achievements, such as the Ghana Airways, Black
Star line, silos for farmers, and a whole lot, these all depicts the self
reliance that Nkrumah was making available to Ghana.

Also sharing his life story in his education when he returned to the US, during
a class when the teacher asked them to do research about a particular topic,
but he did was to write all that the teacher said in the class together with
the contribution from his mates. So the next day when the teacher was sharing
the assignment after marking them, his own never came, but the teacher took him
outside the class and explained the outline of how to research on topics given.
For us to learn we need to read on the subject, do our research even if going
to banks, security companies, department stores to question them on how and
whatever our target research may be. And we also need to focus on our course
outlines. He asked of us to watch the people/friends that we keep and friends
that surround us. To whom much is because it had only given much is expected.

Next Speaking was Mr. Daniel Batidam, executive director, African Parliamentarians
Network Against Corruption and an anti-corruption specialist for the past ten years.
He spoke on the theme: Leadership with Integrity. We must always be leaders of
integrity in any kind of pathetic we choose for ourselves. He has always guided
his life and career with integrity. And integrity matters everywhere. With
integrity we are trustworthy people, we have requisite confidences and
expertise in whatever we do. Complaining about how our current leaders are only
in position to eat and instances where a Kenya wrote a book entitled ‘our time
to lead’.
He also cited the high level of corruption even among student who contest for
positions in their institutions. If someone is not corrupt 20 years ago, that
person can never become corrupt 20 years later. Encouraging us to stay with our
books, he cited a quote then in secondary school, ‘ you learn not for school but
for life’. He entreated us to always keep our integrity intact that even when
we succeed in life we can still have our integrity intact. Our current leaders
are now only solving problems that they have created themselves. They promise
us things but yet they don’t do them. He also cited several instances of
corruption in our African governments and it not good for us at all. This even
compelled one of the participants to tweet ‘if corruption were poison to eat,
all our leaders go die. Africa is not poor but it is bad management.
I may not solve the world problems but i can contribute my quota was the pledge
we took. So watch out for all the participants who will be coming out to fight
corruption in Africa to be precise.

Mr. Rahul Sapra, a Ghanaian born Indian who is currently the Director of
finepack Industries ltd in Accra, Jamestown was our final speaker. Sharing his
experience as an entrepreneur in Ghana, as his life as a consultant which
helped him make real impacts, said in Ghana, we have opportunities in every
sector, and the level of expertise in a field also need to be remedied but it
can also take the form of on the job training.
He also noted that the private sector will be taking over job creation very
soon in the country.
Encouraging us to become entrepreneurs, we need to consider our long-term
value, we must have finances which can support the business over a long period
of time, and we also need start-up which is lacked in Ghana which must be a
long term capital, we also need to be innovative this years so that we can also
conceive new and great ideas.
Also sharing his challenges, as already noted there is lack of long term
capital and access to skilled labour. And thought was which products are our
universities producing and yet there are jobs and they can’t feel those
vacancies and yet we shout everyday about unemployment.
He was really inspiring as being a youth himself, he asked of us to make
ourselves very valuable, we need to become self reliant, plan and meet
like-minded individuals, has interest in wide areas, take up industrialization,
spend more time thinking about innovative and become technical in life.

hope this summary of
7 hours of life changing stories and lectures will make and help you become the
African cheetah leading the next generation of Africa’s renaissance. I left the
summit with hopes that i am very relevant to my country and continent. A day
spent at the iLEAD summit 2013 was one i never gonna regret.
Akpah Prince.