Promoting Accountable Leadership for Results

Leadership and Accountability
– The Ghanaian Experience
Presented by: Edward Dua Agyeman, FCCA
Auditor-General of the Republic of Ghana
Feb. 7th 2007
Leadership is foundational to
Vision 2020: Considerable enthusiasm around
the transformation of the Ghanaian economy into
a middle income economy by 2020.
African countries are characterised by low growth
rates, poverty and loss of confidence to deal with
socio-economic challenges to nation-building,
while other countries (NICs), not better endowed,
have experienced great progress.
Leadership is cause, everything else is effect
Definition of Leadership
The essence of leadership is the exercise of
influence for a common cause (Munroe).
The development of vision, strategies and
alignment of relevant people behind those
strategies and empowerment of individuals to
make vision happen despite obstacles (Kotter).
Leadership refers to the quality of the behaviour
of individuals, whereby they guide people in their
activities in organised effort (Bernard).
The record of development
leadership in Ghana
If national development is the measure to go by,
Ghana has been characterised by a massive
leadership failure.
Civilian rule from Nkrumah to Busia (1957 – 1972)
The rule of soldiers (1972 – 1983)
The lost opportunity of Jerry John Rawling’s rule (1981 –
Period of hope and development (2001-2008)
Leadership that holds promise
Effective and developmental leadership in
view is one that :
Develops an ideal, loftier but realisable vision;
leads in elaborating strategies, policies and
programmes needed for a positive sociocultural and economic shift in paradigm;
influences people toward predetermined goals
which are meaningful, desirable and attainable;
has character, capacity and credibility to
manage the difficult transitions associated with
Leaders who produced results
Had the ability to:
Elaborate and communicate a strong national
Put together strategies, policies and programmes
to implement the vision
Mobilise the intellectual and business communities
as well as critical mass of the people to buy into
and support the new vision and strategies
Manage the challenges that change management
entails, including having an efficient bureaucracy
Leaders who produced results
Emperor Meiji of Japan (1852 – 1912)
Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore
Mahatir Mohamed’s Malaysia
Leadership is not like a tea party, where
anybody can join at any point in time.
The transformational leader must be capable of
dreaming for his country and wading into the
unknown; he should demonstrate a strong
intellectual capacity that promotes debate and
radical thinking (Yamson).
Leadership and Accountability
Power should be commensurate with responsibility
and the holders of public office should be
accountable to the people for the exercise of
Accountable governance requires the creation and
sustenance of a variety of cross-cutting institutions
and processes.
Agencies of vertical and horizontal accountability
must have constitutional, operational and financial
Defining Accountability
Accountability means that someone has to give an
account about something to someone.
Accountable means the requirement to record,
report, explain and justify actions to a superior
officer, to the government, to parliament, the
public accounts committee of parliament, or to the
Accountability is the obligation to answer for a
responsibility conferred.
Accountability and Sustained
National Development
The ability to determine who in government is
responsible for a decision or action and the ability
to ensure that officials are answerable for their
Focuses on the ability to account for the
allocation, use and control of public assets in
accordance with legally accepted standards.
…to protect the Treasury from being defrauded,
let all money be issued openly in front of the
whole city, and let copies of the accounts be
deposited in the various wards… (Aristotle, the
Prerequisite of Accountability
Clear definition of the role of the governing and
the governed, of the objectives and different
Effective delivery requires everyone involved to
know who is responsible, what they are
responsible for and what powers and freedoms
they actually have to deliver.
Key players in the accountability process:
Parliament, Minister of Finance, Controller and
Account-General, Auditor-General, AttorneyGeneral, Heads of Ministries, Departments and
Agencies, Public Officers
Reinforcing Accountability in
Financial Administration Act, 2003 (Act 654)
Internal Audit Agency Act, 2003 (Act 658)
Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663)
Public Accountability Office (2003)
Public Sector Reform Programmes
The Ghana our leaders built
Nkrumah – pragmatic approach to institution
building, human resources development,
infrastructural development, and accelerated
industrial progress.
NLC and Busia – emphasis on rural development
and rehabilitation of social infrastructure.
Military rule of Acheampong – policy of selfreliance and import substitution.
Rawlings – many atrocities and lost opportunity.
Without Vision the People Perish
President Kufuor had a vision to take the country
out of HIPC.
Competent men and women in the administration
help steer the affairs of the nation.
Progress in the areas of good governance and
poverty alleviation: decreasing percentage of
Ghanaians living on less than a dollar a day and
increase in primary school enrolment.
Ghana ranks 7th in good governance in Africa and
1st in West Africa.