President Nana Akufo-Addo’s management of the coronavirus pandemic in Ghana has received rave commendations from notable experts in leadership in Ghana.
Prof Baffour Agyeman-Duah, Dr Kobby Mensah and Dr Etse Sikanku were unanimous in their approvals of how the government has handled the crisis since the first case of Covid-19 was reported in Ghana in the latter part of March this year.
The commendations by the experts come despite contrary views from a section of the public, particularly from the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), that some the decisions by the President have been poor.
According to Prof Agyeman-Duah, who is a former UN Senior Governance Advisor, after closely monitoring the President’s management of the crisis, he is convinced the President checks all the boxes for a bold and courageous leader – the type societies need in a time of crisis.
“When he began, when he made this first speech, he did define for us the crisis; and it is important for every leader to be very clear in his or her mind when dealing with a case such as this. Your messages should not be mixed up, it should be clear.
“He was among the first leaders to take a bold step to confront the situation…” he said Tuesday on Joy News’ current affairs programme, PM Express.
The former Executive Director of the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), also acknowledged the President’s multi-faceted approach to deal with the health crisis in Ghana, noting that it is the best approach to deal with a disease that scientists are still trying to grapple.
Political marketing expert at the University of Ghana Business School, Dr Kobby Mensah, also gave a favourable verdict on government’s handling of the crisis, noting that the right measures have been taken at the right time.
“We have seen a decisive, swift action from the President. Obviously, there is a unanimous understanding that the measures that he took were the right ones; were the bold ones,” he said on the late evening programme.
He also noted that although there have been some criticisms about the appropriateness of some of the decisions, “majority of Ghanaians actually believe that it was the needed action that we had to take.”
His only concern, however, is that bi-partisan support of the national strategy to fight the disease has been lacking.
He said although the opposition party has developed its own programmes to hold the spread of the disease in Ghana, they are not aligned with the government’s, a situation he described as worrying. Prof Agyeman-Duah supports Dr Mensah on this point.
Political Communications Analyst, Etse Sikanku, zoomed in on the crisis communication and framing of the messages coming from government, scoring the government favourable marks.
“If you analyse the President, has he been open, has been assessable? I think he has been open. If you look at the press conferences…and televised address,” he also said on the PM Express show.
“Has he been truthful? Well, there are lot of people who think that the government has been hiding some of the information; that it has not been too honest with us in terms of what happened and the number of cases…but that is up for debate,” he added.
Playwright and motivational speaker, Uncle Ebo Whyte, who also spoke on the programme, said the current crisis presents a good opportunity for the decision-makers to prove that have a grip of the crisis.
Good leaders, he said, perform best when there is a crisis.