The Director of the Otumfuo Centre for Traditional Leadership (OCTL) of the University of Professional Studies Accra (UPSA), Dr Gerald Dapaah Gyamfi, has urged traditional leaders to be stringent on laws and to create pathways for sustainable development in their areas.
He said leaders should acknowledge the need to be conscious of their traditional world and their obligation to pass on to their filial generation a future of hope.
“So kindly bear in mind that you are accountable to the people you serve in your jurisdictional areas. Lead your people with the appropriate leadership styles, ensuring resolution of conflict, protecting the ecosystem and prevent violent extremism in your traditional areas,” he added.
Dr Gyamfi said that at the closing ceremony of a five-day training workshop for chiefs and staff of the traditional councils in Accra last Friday.
The workshop was designed to enhance the role of the chieftaincy institution as an instrument of social cohesion and stability in the development of the country.
It also provided the traditional leaders the platform to network to enhance community development.
Among the participants were leaders from the Mafi, Ada , Anlo, Breman, Have, Shama and Wasipe traditional areas.
Since the inception of the OTCL in 2014, some 440 leaders have participated with seven traditional leaders graduating with diplomas among the 26 leaders who took part this year.
Dr Gyamfi said over the years, the workshop had revealed that most women had been empowered through education, hence the need for the government to consider the establishment of a National House of Queenmothers with responsibilities that would make their voices heard on national affairs.
The Pro-Vice Chancellor of the UPSA, Professor Charles Barnor, said the Constitution had made the chieftaincy institution an indispensable factor in the running of government and that modern systems needed to recognise the institution, particularly at the local government level to ensure that they succeeded.
Unfortunately, he said, the structures on the ground laid by the democratic system seemed not to be effective in delivering development.
Prof. Barnor encouraged traditional leaders to continually educate themselves to fill the gaps created in the structures.
The Past Director of the OCTL, Alhaji Lepowura M.N.D. Jawula, called for the strengthening of the laws on chieftaincy in the country to help traditional leaders to effectively guard and ensure that the environment was not degraded in the days of global warming.
Alhaji Jawula also charged the institution to start a course on alternative conflict resolution and to expand their programmes to higher education levels.
The Chief Director of the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Benjamin Afful, said traditional and religious leaders were vital gatekeepers in national affairs for the preservation, sustenance and purposeful integration of national values, norms and practices.
He said it was thus important that their significance and contributions to nation building were continuously highlighted.
“I am excited about the resolve of the UPSA and especially the Otumfuo Centre of Traditional Leadership to institute this training programme aimed at equipping traditional authorities and functionaries with the needed leadership skills to execute their roles and tasks to move their communities forward,” Mr Afful added in a speech read on his behalf.