Professor Abednego Feehi Okoe Amartey, Vice-Chancellor, University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) has urged traditional leaders to champion development in their communities.

He noted that this highlighted the need for them to sharpen their skills to become effective agents in the fight against poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, injustice, and environmental degradation.

Prof Amartey said this in a speech read on his behalf at the closing of a five-day training workshop for chiefs, staff of traditional councils, regional and national houses of chiefs.

The ceremony, which was organised by the Otumfuo Centre for Traditional Leadership (OCTL) witnessed the graduation of 40 participants who were taken through cutting–edge topics such as land administration, conflict management, negotiation skills, and records and documentation.

It also covered; strategic leadership and planning, laws on chieftaincy, gender, financial management and administration.

The training was therefore, aimed at enhancing chieftaincy institutions with effective leadership and management skills towards sustainable development.

Prof Amartey noted that since its establishment four years ago, the OCTL had equipped traditional leaders and staff of the traditional councils, regional and national houses of chiefs with skills towards development.

He said this mission was pursued primarily by convening workshops and conferences for participants, adding that “this second workshop of the year comes as a precursor to UPSA’s annual leadership lecture which should be of much interest to Nananom”.

He announced that the UPSA’s annual Leadership Lecture, a flagship programme where outstanding individuals with insights into leadership, relative to peculiar global and local challenges were given the opportunity to share their experience, was slated for Friday 22, November.

This year’s lecture will be delivered by Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, on the topic, Leadership in Ghana: Strengthening Democratic Institutions for National Development.

Prof Amartey said the Annual Leadership Lecture was consistent with the University’s mission to enhance its scope in scholarship and professionalism, as well as bolster its extension and community service mandate.

Odeefuo Amoakwa Buadu VIII, Paramount Chief of the Breman Asikuma Traditional Area, also noted that people still believe that traditional leaders can improve their lives, saying this was a challenge in the sense that the interest of the community becomes paramount.

He noted that as to whether these leaders would be able to meet these expectations would depend on how they prepare themselves; and therefore, commended OCTL for providing the platform to train chiefs.

Odeefuo Amoakwa Buadu VIII, said the completion of the course should mark another beginning, with the implementation of whatever they have learnt, to translate it into the change all stakeholders yearned for.

He noted that to be able to meet the expectations of the people in the community, a continued leadership capacity building was apt.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency, Nana Owusu Pinkra II, Kontihene of Kintampo, called on the Government to consider chiefs as strategic partners in nation building.

He said there was the need for traditional leaders to be consulted in development planning and in award of contracts; to be given supervisory roles during the execution of such development projects in their areas.

Nana Owusu Pinkra II noted that this would help curb contractor absenteeism, embezzlement and abandoned projects.

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