Africa’s youth seek ethical leadership for development – Dogbegah

BY: Isaac Yeboah
Mr. Rockson Dogbegah, President of the Institute of Directors, Ghana (IoD-Gh)
Mr. Rockson Dogbegah, President of the Institute of Directors, Ghana (IoD-Gh)

Recent happenings in Ethiopia, Sudan, Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea suggests that Africa and the continent is hungry for a positive change, says president of the Institute of Directors, Ghana (IoD-Gh), Mr. Rockson Dogbegah.

“It is without a doubt that the youth are hungry for change and seek a kind of leadership that will deliver development,” he said as the IoD-Gh launched the fourth annual Directors’ Week Celebration.

He added that it appears people are willing to do anything to hold unto the hope for that leadership that promises the desired change.

Focusing on ethical and effective leadership, Mr. Dogbegah said leadership and ethics are inseparable if the desired set of goals for any society or group must be achieved, explaining that any leadership strategy without ethical clarity, produces moral and economic bankruptcy.

He said in a world, where diversity, equity and inclusion make for good business, ethical leadership cannot be any less important as these moral concepts fall and rise on leadership, reminding all that “if we separate ethics from leadership, we only have reduced inspiration to the mundane and perhaps influence to fruitless techniques.”

He described ethical leadership as the ability or authority to guide and direct others toward the achievement of a goal through the moral qualities of the leader which usually include values such as honesty, integrity, reliability, modesty, trustworthiness, respect and fairness.

“Ethical leadership suggests that the leader possesses a strong personal character; has a passion to do the right thing; has high value for the diverse interests that exist within their group; models the values of the group they lead; and creates a leadership atmosphere within which transparency and a critique of all actions, including that of leadership, become major features,” he said, adding that the basis of ethical leadership thus suggests that the leader has a personal desire to be ethical and to model ethical standards in ways that are visible for other individuals in the organization to see and emulate.

According to Mr. Dogbegah, the essential importance of ethics is that it builds trust which is necessary for any leader to be effective.

“Beyond the trust, ethical leadership creates benefits among the leadership and employees, ethical organizations reap several internal and external benefits: customer loyalty, improving public reputation, and driving overall sustainability of the organization.”

He explained that for a leader desiring to pursue ethical leadership, the pathway appears to be a combination of skill sets such as open and effective communication, ability to relate and interact with employees and stakeholders at all levels, and the ability to promote collaborative work environment while maintaining resourcefulness and focusing on execution.

“As a nation however, we may need to have a national vision and mission to achieve change, stimulate and sustain efforts by all stakeholders to commit to positive change,” he said, adding that it is about time that public and private sector actors and the media became partners at transforming the nation through ethical and effective leadership.

“We at IoD-Gh are passionate about promoting ethical leadership and therefore shall continually lead the way in thought leadership as well as rallying resources around promoting effective and ethical leadership.”

Directors’ Week Celebration
The Annual Directors' Week Celebration, he explained, is an event which brings directors in public and private sector, and members of the Institute together to build their capacity, network and share ideas on how to promote professional directorship and good corporate governance in their respective areas of influence.

This year’s Directors' Week celebrations is on the theme “Good Corporate Governance and Ethical Leadership: An Essential Requirement for Organizational Turnaround”.

The celebrations start on Tuesday, November 16, with a Strategic Stakeholder Engagement to discuss issues around "Good Corporate Governance and Ethical Leadership in Promoting Ghana Beyond Aid". It will explore opportunities for members to examine their governance structures and assess their degree of preparedness in dealing with recovery, turnaround and promoting Ghana Beyond Aid.

Activities line-up

  • 16th November 2021: Strategic Stakeholder Engagement:
  • 16th November 2021: Annual General Meeting (AGM)
  • 17th November 2021: Capacity Building Sessions
  • 18th November 2021: IoD-Gh Members' Forum
  • 19th November 2021: 4th IoD-Gh Corporate Governance Excellence Awards