Vol. XIII, Issue 4 (Fall2006): Nation Building in Nigeria and Ghana


Gloria Emeagwali
Chief Editor

Walton Brown-Foster
Copy Editor

Haines Brown


Olayemi Akinwumi

Zenebworke Bissrat

Paulus Gerdes

Mosebjane Malatsi
(South Africa)

Alfred Zack-Williams
(Sierra Leone)


Tennyson Darko
Asst. Dir. ITS, CCSU

Peter K. LeMaire
Professor, CCSU

Website Maintenance

Nana Poku


For more information concerning Africa Update
Prof. Gloria Emeagwali
CCSU History Dept.
1615 Stanley Street
New Britain, CT 06050
Tel: 860-832-2815

Table of contents



In this issue we reflect on issues related to nation building and development in
two African countries, namely, Nigeria and Ghana. Patrick Wilmot, a former professor in one of Nigeria’s leading universities, reflects on the life and times of Murtala Muhammed. Murtala’s role in the liberation of Southern Africa is considered the high point of his career. Casely Coleman’s focus is on Human Resource Development with respect to Ghana. The Millenium Goals serve as the basic guidelines for his discussion. This article concludes the discussion initiated in an earlier issue of Africa Update.

We thank the contributors for their input.

Gloria Emeagwali

Chief Editor

Return to Table of Contents



             Reflections on Nigerian Leadership: Murtala Muhammad            Patrick Wilmot
Former Professor of Sociology,
Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

Introductory Comments 

After almost half century of independence Nigeria, the potential superpower of Africa, has travelled in reverse. The period of the first regimes, once regarded with ridicule for their lack of imagination and ‘progressive’ spirit, now seem like a golden age. Awolowo, Azikiwe, the Sardauna of Sokoto, and Tafawa Balewa managed the state with the limited revenues derived from taxes, cocoa, groundnuts and other agricultural products. Gowon prosecuted a bloody, expensive civil war, with Awolowo in charge of finances, and Nigeria came out without a kobo of debt. Murtala Mohammed gave the nation and continent a new sense of purpose with his vision and decisiveness, after sacrificing his own material possessions.

         These men had several things in common - love for their country and continent, a willingness to sacrifice, and a refusal to use the resources of the state for their personal benefit. Except for Awolowo,  a businessman and lawyer, all died near penniless and, in the case of the Sardauna of Sokoto, in debt. One could blame them for not using their positions to guarantee a comfortable future for their families but their ethics prevented them from treating the state as their private property. I’ve met many of the children of these men. Not one was rich.

          The Northern Government of Nigeria gave Nelson Mandela 10,000 when he travelled north from his apartheid hellhole. No matter how ‘reactionary,’ a Nigerian leader might be, he was always aware of his responsibility to his continent. Since 1979, with hundreds of billions in oil revenue, Nigeria has retrogressed. Reversing John Kennedy’s cynical rhetorical flourish, leaders asked what their country could do for themselves, not what they could do for their country. Ethics, patriotism, self-respect, responsibility, and vision escaped with the billions secreted into foreign accounts, investments, and real estate.

        To understand the scale of the problem one needs compare the wretched family homes of the early leaders with the mansions of even minor officials in later regimes. Agriculture, which sustained the nation in the past, and was exported to earn foreign exchange, was destroyed together with institutions and the nation’s sense of honour. Imported rice, petrol, and other ‘essential commodities’ became not just necessities but the means of amassing colossal wealth by cronies of the Leader.

Corruption became institutionalized.


                 The Americans and Chinese once lacked systems of transport capable of spanning their vast countries. In the early 20th century the U.S. took over two decades to build their network. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries the Chinese took four years to build an even more sophisticated one. While the Chinese each day build more and more modern infrastructure, the American one progressively deteriorates.

        China buys hundreds of planes each year for its airlines. The mainland has $820 billions in foreign reserves, Hong Kong and Taiwan over $200 billion each. The Chinese have the capability to build an aircraft industry but with competition between Boeing and Airbus they can buy planes below cost, because of subsidies from the U.S. and EU governments. With the U.S. economy collapsing under the weight of trade and budget deficits, the Americans may be forced to sell their industry to China to avoid bankruptcy. Chinese superiority is a function of their discipline, social organization and culture, not their genes. As a people, the Chinese never forgot their past achievements in state formation, social organization, science and technology. Even while they were a weak, communist state they refused to take dictates from communist Russia. In the past 25 years China’s growth averaged 9.5%, meaning that they doubled national production every seven and a half years. The difference in character between the Chinese, Russians and Nigerians may provide a clue to their capacity to achieve political objectives.

            The advocates of ‘Power Shift’, ‘Third Term’, North, South, East and west as loci for the Nigerian presidency in 2007, have not explained what they plan to do for the Nigerian people if elected. They have been deafening on the need for power to be handed to them but silent on what it is to be used for. There have been no programs, no analysis of problems, and no suggestion of solutions. In his great speech at the OAU Summit in January 1976, General Murtala Muhammed spoke of Africa’s coming of age.

         Trade unions, teachers, students, intellectuals, voluntary organizations, and patriots in every institution in the country must provide forums for the discussion of the country’s future, of how its massive human and natural resources can be used. It is the right of every citizen to be given equal opportunity to share in his or her nation’s production, and be protected from harassment or exploitation by the state or other citizens. It is also his or her duty to hold leaders to account, to prevent rulers from turning into monsters. The new men and women who will revive the country and continent must be dedicated to the central task of uplifting the people as Murtala Muhammed did when he made his immortal speeches. The people must learn to respect, not fear their government, to show that patriotism is free and genuine, not sycophancy threatened at the point of a gun.

        Like other peoples of the world, Nigerians have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But they also need jobs, food, housing, healthcare, education, stability, a secure future for their children. No longer should the country’s best citizens be forced to seek exile in hostile foreign countries

         The current political class could do their country a world of good by ensuring that those who looted are never elected again, and that those elected never have the opportunity to loot again. A legislative framework must be created to make transparency and good governance a necessity. Candidates for office must submit asset declaration forms which will be checked by national and international forensic accountants, with expertise in tracing assets. Assets not declared should be seized and the fraudulent politician jailed. Punishments should escalate with the importance of the office so local government candidates receive five years and presidential contenders get life without possibility of parole. The same sanctions should apply to successful candidates. In addition no holder of public office should hold foreign accounts or investments, seek healthcare outside the country, or send his or her children to foreign schools. As long as Nigerian leaders are allowed to have houses and bank accounts overseas, send their children to school and seek medical care there, they will continue to neglect the welfare of their own citizens and become benefactors of foreign ones. And their children in foreign schools will learn to despise Africa and poor Africans even more.

       The judiciary, police and other institutions must be ruthlessly purged of corrupt officials, and then be given independence from the political class to perform the technical functions for which they were employed. In addition they must be properly remunerated so they have no temptation to profit from their office. But if, despite the autonomy and material resources granted them, they transgress, they too must suffer the consequences. Given the principle that punishment should vary with the level of responsibility, corrupt Supreme Court judges, Police Commissioners, and other high officials must face the sanction of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Let me now reflect on one of Nigeria’s model leaders, Murtala Muhammed.

 Murtala Muhammad and South Africa

        Luckily for Africa, General Murtala Muhammed recognized the political dimension of the South African liberation war, as shown in his masterful speech, Africa Has Come of Age, delivered at the OAU Summit in Addis Ababa, on 11th January 1976. South Africa viewed itself as the protector of Western Civilization on the continent, embarrassing its Western sponsors with the crudity of its racist ideology. In its own version of the American Monroe Doctrine, it stated its right to dominate all of Africa south of the Equator. Subscribing to Bismark’s geopolitical ideas, it regarded this area of millions of square kilometres as its ‘legitimate sphere of influence’, which endeared it to the then American Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger; another student of Bismarck’s outmoded 19th century doctrine.  Given the international distaste for its racist policy, which made it a pariah, it insisted on having buffer states between its borders and the Equator, which would not challenge its apartheid policies. It therefore supported Portuguese colonialism in Angola and Mozambique, Ian Smith’s racism in Rhodesia, and the neo-colonialism of the USA, France, Belgium and the UK in the other countries. Nations such as Tanzania, Mozambique, and to a lesser extent Zambia were subject to orchestrated terror, and Angola became the arena where the racists hoped to crush the challenge to its hegemony.

       Murtala Muhammed accepted this challenge, and harnessed the resources of his country to establish the freedom of Angola under the leadership of the MPLA. Murtala established very forcefully that the fight was between African Nationalism, the right of the black man to freedom, and Western Imperialism which condemned the African to slavery for the past five centuries. There was no question of Apartheid South Africa fighting the political red herring of International Communism. Proof was the economic, military, and diplomatic support given to Apartheid by the US, which kept its huge African-American minority as second class citizens.

        Although Nigeria contributed money and some ammunition to the MPLA, its vital contribution was political. The OAU was a hodgepodge of nations from right, left and centre, which tended to adopt vacuous policies, the least common denominator in political terms, bland, uncontroversial, and unthreatening. One of these was the policy of giving equal support to all liberation movements, regardless of effectiveness or coloration. Since all the occupied territories which the OAU was committed to liberate had multiple ‘liberation movements’, it was possible for ‘freedom fighters’ to collect money from the organization’s headquarters in Addis Ababa and spend it right there, in the expensive hotels of that great city.

        In the case of Angola, which the Summit was convened to discuss, Murtala showed not just the futility but also the danger of this policy. While the OAU was obliged to support the movements equally, the policy put no constraints on outside forces. Thus the USA, Mobutu’s Congo, and South Africa allied with the FLNA and UNITA to destroy the MPLA, the movement which controlled most of the country, and had the resources to lead the country in the anti-imperialist struggle.

         In this situation Murtala demonstrated that this policy was a formula for inaction while imperialism did its worst. The open support given by racist South Africa to the FLNA and UNITA showed that these movements were beyond the pale, their alliance a threat to all Africans. His analysis also put the pro-Western majority in the OAU on the spot, because of the West’s support for Apartheid’s objectives in Angola and the rest of Southern Africa. His speech which capped a period of vigorous Nigerian diplomacy forced a basically conservative group to recognize the MPLA as the sole legitimate government in Angola.

       Of course the General was not a one man show, but was ably supported by allies such as Generals Obasanjo and Danjuma, and M.D. Yusufu, the Inspector General of Police. Murtala was a listener and had clearly read a series of articles I wrote on Angola for the New Nigerian between November 1975 and January 1976. For this I was invited to join the Federal Delegation to Luanda, led by General Obasanjo in February, 1976. What was the political effect of Murtala’s success at the OAU summit? When South Africa intervened with two armoured columns, hoping to capture Luanda and remove the MPLA, few African leaders appeared to have heard the boast of Apartheid’s minister of ‘defence’, that ‘if South Africa captures Luanda there will be little to stop us advancing to Lagos and even to Cairo.’ South Africa indeed had the modern mechanized armies, plus Western technical assistance, to do the job, and therefore posed a clear and present danger to all of Africa. This boast was based on the ancient ambition of Western imperialism, expressed by Cecil Rhodes, to build a Cape to Cairo railroad as a spine for its domination of Africa.

          When the MPLA and its Cuban allies stopped the racists at Nova Redondo, they put an end to this ambition, creating the possibility for genuine liberation of the entire continent. If Murtala had not been murdered, it is my personal opinion, that the continent would have been freed by now. The effect of OAU recognition meant that the MPLA could not be portrayed by the Americans as a puppet of International Communism and the Soviet Union. As an independent African state it had the right to invite the Cubans as allies against racist South Africans, and deter the Americans from openly supporting Apartheid. Without that recognition of the MPLA as leader of a recognized state, the Americans would have taken the opportunity to bomb their enemy under the cover of protecting Africa from Communism.

         Having been stopped in their tracks at Nova Redondo the South African forces were pushed back by the MPLA and Cubans, in a bloody struggle lasting years, until they were defeated at the climactic battle at Cuito Cuanavale. It was this demonstration of the limits of its own power that convinced the racists to seek accommodation with the ANC and SWAPO in South Africa and Namibia. Without the process initiated by Murtala’s bold actions, South Africa would be now ruled by black puppet like Buthelezi, as titular head of the racist National Party, and a series of ‘Bantustans’. Angola would be ruled by Savimbi and  Congo by a son of Mobutu.

At the 10th anniversary Conference I was invited to speak on the Diaspora but took the opportunity to explain to South African comrades what their liberation owed to the man, Murtala Muhammed, who enabled the defeat of Apartheid in Angola. I distributed hundreds of copies of his great speech in Addis, reading the dramatic final paragraph

                 Here’s the conclusion of his brilliant oration at the OAU Summit three decades ago:

‘Africa has come of age. It is no longer under the orbit of any extra continental power. It should no longer take orders from any country, however powerful. The fortunes of Africa are in our hands to make or to mar. For too long have we been kicked around: for too long have we been treated like adolescents who cannot discern their interests and act accordingly. For too long has it been presumed that the African needs outside ‘experts’ to tell him who are his friends and who are his enemies. The time has come when we should make it clear that we can decide for ourselves; that we know our own interests and how to protect those interests; that we are capable of resolving African problems without presumptuous lessons in ideological dangers which, more often than not, have no relevance for us, nor for the problem at hand.’

This speech was a manifesto of African liberation, a guide to its future. If Nigeria had had leaders like Murtala after 1979, Nigerians would not still be taking presumptuous lessons from enemies of the continent. Even at my age I still look up to this great hero of Kano, Nigeria and Africa, together with Kwame Nkrumah, Nelson Mandela, Amilcar Cabral, Samora Machel,  Agostinho Neto,  Aminu Kano and Moshood Abiola.

Return to Table of Contents


Human Resource Development (HRD) and Ghana
Casely A. Coleman

(Continued from Africa Update vol.X111. no.3.Summer issue)

Industrial Relations as a Tool for Managing Diversity in HRD

Industrial relations refers to processes and outcomes involving employment relationships. It is the interactions between the social partners, i.e. employers (represented by management), workers (represented by unions) and the state, (represented by government) that regulates all issues concerning HRD. According to Dunlop’s theory of Industrial Relations Systems, the outcomes of their interactions, produces substantive rules(compensation and benefits such as training, career development etc) and procedural rules (collective bargaining, redundancy, grievance and disciplinary procedures).(Coleman, 1996).

Realizing MCA C2 requires collaboration between the social partners to promote peaceful industrial relations. This will mean showing a large measure of respect and tolerance for diverging views as well as making reasonable compromises in order not to drive away the investments that the economy must have. Economic growth will mean making Ghana the financial, commercial and production platform for investors, with access to domestic, regional and global markets. This would in turn result in employment opportunities and an improvement of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and help to move the country towards the anticipated middle income status.

However a major requirement will involve taking a critical look on salaries, wages, benefits and the pension scheme. Without a comprehensive pay structure, which can be improved exponentially in line with an improving economy, it will be difficult to ensure peaceful industrial relations and minimize industrial actions which will in turn not support the anticipated economic growth that can facilitate HRD. One must quickly note the initiative taken by the government to appoint a presidential commission to look at the issue of pension reforms. It is hoped that when its report is finalized, the issue of pension reforms will be addressed accordingly in a sustainable manner.

Investing in people requires the need for government to play an active role in the creation of jobs for the large numbers of unemployed youth roaming the streets. Investing in people means that the government must join the other community of developing countries to demand for a better terms of international trade within the framework of the WTO. The inability of the government to collaborate with other countries will mean a less effective response to the threats of international policies on local policies and their effects on the workers and by extension all sectors of the economy. This will not help to promote HRD. It can be argued that in their attempts to join the global community, governments of poor nations are forced to accept the unfair rules of globalization through excessive deregulation of the labor market, trade liberalization, privatization, and provision of general concession to attract foreign direct investment. The consequences of such policies are that workers are often disadvantaged and the end result is high levels of unemployment. (Brown et al 2002)

A critical mass of unemployed people is not only a recipe for social and political instability but is also a waste of the country’s potential available talent pool. The issue of unemployment needs to be addressed in a holistic manner if MCA C2 is to be realized.

One issue which could also potentially affect HRD if not handled well, is the effect of the new labour act which nullified the existence of the trade union congress(TUC) as the mother trade union in the country as provided by the previous Industrial Relations Act 1965(Act 299). With Act 2003, it is no longer a mandatory requirement for unions to affiliate to the TUC. The change has lead to a proliferation of more trade unions, and in some cases violent secessions like the break away of the Industrial & Commercial Workers Union from the TUC, which was caused by the disengagement of another group from Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) to form another union, to represent some sections for workers in the industrial sector. Some of these secessions have been violent and are clearly a disincentive to attracting local and foreign investment.

In as much as the constitution of Ghana guarantees the freedom of association, a united labor front will also ensure industrial stability by having a solid bargaining influence through a collective voice in the industrial relations processes. A united labor force will be a credible and functional partner to the government and employers to collectively promote MCA C 2 of investing in people and HRD. A fragmented and weak labor front will not be in a good position to lobby and pressurize the other social partners to fulfill their obligations to invest in people in line with the country’s HRD program.

The government will have to exercise the necessary political will and determination to implement the negotiated salaries and benefits packages agreed upon with organized labour organizations. The educational and health sector have been hit in recent times by a spate of industrial actions. For example in Ghana it not a secret that insufficient remuneration of health and educational professionals has been the main cause of the brain drain. The use of effective dialogue with all the other social partners in industrial relations will promote a transparent medium of sharing information and understanding necessary for human resources development.

Phenomenon of Brain Drain
In the area of international human resources development, one can mention the exploits of Ghanaians playing various roles outside the country with success. The down side is that most of such highly skilled personnel are outside the country and there will be the need to address the issue of brain drain if criteria 2 is to be achieved. This is because you first of all need to have high caliber persons, who can be retained and motivated to also transfer their skills to the next generation of Ghanaian.

HRD in the health sector

The migration of health workers to other countries can be attributed to poor planning, inadequate human resource management and socio-political conditions. Some of the factors include lack of strategic talent management planning, limited management expertise, weak health systems coordination, inadequate or lack of accommodation in rural areas, low salaries, long tortuous and excessively bureaucratic recruitment procedures.(GNA story posted on Myjoyonline.com 9th March 2006)

If these issues are not effectively addressed it will be difficult to realize MCA Criteria 2 since a strong health care system will help to reduce infant and maternal mortality, curb HIV/AIDS, malaria and other major diseases could militate against human resources development. A sick population cannot be a potential talent pool.

One of the most current issues which is of much interest in the discussion on HRD is the new immigration rules in the UK, which seek to bar the recruitment of foreign doctors. Under the new policy, doctors from outside the European Union will only be allowed to take up jobs in the UK health service only if the job cannot be filled by a UK resident. The policy according to the UK government will lessen the reliance on international medics.(http:bbc.co.uk, 7th March 2006, Myjoyonline 25th April 2006). Some people have described the development as a positive measure to address the brain gain. In as much as this development is positive, one should be cautious in our expectation on the possible impact of this new policy. Without a very efficient re-integration process and user friendly bureaucratic system, these returning highly skilled labor will become frustrated due to the usual bureaucratic public administration culture in Ghana.

In Ghana, an NGO, Migration for Development in Africa (MIDA) project has initiated programs aimed at engaging Ghanaians in the Diaspora to contribute in the health sector and to mitigate the brain drain. Such initiative must be supported by the government and other sectors of civil society to help address this problem that can inhibit the realization of MCA criteria 2. This is because if you are not able to attract and retain specialized skilled labour, the development aspects of succession planning and talent management will be affected since there will be a lack of experts to impart and transfer skills.

HRD & National Security
A vibrant national economy requires and effective national security system to protect the sovereignty of the country and also maintain internal peace and stability. The phenomenon of brain drain has also affected the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).

Available data indicates that 20-30 per cent of senior officers desert the force for UN top jobs. As per the HRD strategy of the service, most of these officers undergo expensive training in the USA. However after completion of their training, they resign from the service to take up appointments in the United Nations and other commercial air operators. It is estimated that it costs the government of Ghana about $40,000-$70,000 to train one air force pilot. Most GAF pilots are trained in United States of America where they receive commercial licenses, a situation which makes them more attractive than civilian pilots. A major factor cited has been poor conditions of service.(The Enquirer story posted on Myjoyonline.com 13 March 2006) However there is data to show that from 2001 to date there had been an increase in pay and allowances of over 40%-50% to GAF personnel. The Police Service is also experiencing the phenomenon of low staffing levels. Current statistics of police officers stands at around 17,000. (GNA story posted on Myjoyonline.com 30 December 2005)


In 1987 the government instituted the Basic Education Reform program, which included a revision of curricula for grades 1- 9, teacher training, and a reduction in pre-tertiary education from 17 to 12 years. In addition it instituted the free Compulsory Universal Basic Education Program with the objective of providing basic education for all by the year 2005. This involves making basic education universally accessible to all Ghanaian children, improving the quality of teaching and infrastructure development and increasing efficiency in management.

The introduction of the Capitation Grant has also helped to increase school enrollment rates. However without adequate quality teaching and learning materials backed with attractive compensation to motivate teachers, the objective of these initiatives not may not be achieved to its maximum anticipated level. (quote).

The challenge is to ensure that more qualified teachers are produced and developed, and well-motivated to support the realization of MCA C2. In Ghana, one can note the positive role of other development partners such as non governmental organizations(NGOs) in providing support through the provision of teaching and learning materials, building the capacity of teachers, curriculum development at the basic educational level, promoting girl and boy child education, school nutrition programs, and infrastructural projects to build more schools. The previous government of National Democratic Congress and the present government of the New Patriotic Party have collectively done well in promoting educational development in Ghana. However there will be the need for more bi-partisan collaboration in partnership with other development agencies if MCA C2 is to be achieved on a sustainable basis.

In order to ensure a sustainable talent management program to help to realize MCA C2, there is a requirement for the government to pass appropriate legislations to support HRD. For example some experts like the Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Professor Andam, have argued on the need for parliament to pass the engineers bill into law to regulate the practice of engineering in accordance to laid down standards to curb the current situation where the practice of the profession continues to fall short of standards provided in the Bill. The proposed bill provides that graduate engineers from the universities can not be employed as full fledged engineers without going through at least three to four years of supervised training under experienced engineers. This will ensure the legal regulation, production and development of high quality engineers, a key manpower requirement for national development. (GNA story posted on Myjoyonline.com 13 December 2005).

The universities have the potential to produce the human resource capacity needed for the development of the country but will need support from all sectors of the economy.
Some concrete measures will include offering scholarship schemes and sponsored research packages, to attract and retain at high potential young scholars to assume research and teaching roles in the country’s higher institutions of learning to train the skilled labour needed to support the country’s HRD program in line with MCA C2.

Established more than 50 years ago the University of Ghana has trained more than 40,000 graduates who are at the helm of affairs in Ghana and many parts of the world and is the largest of the five public universities in the country.(www.ug.edu.gh/vcwelcome.php)
With 1 college, 11 faculties, 4 schools, 5 institutes, 64 departments, 8 centers, and 3 agricultural research stations, the University of Ghana provides 78 undergraduate and 25 graduate programs in various fields in the arts, social science, business, physical and biological sciences, medicine, dentistry, allied health sciences, agriculture, engineering sciences and law. Special programs are offered in Performing Arts, African Studies and International Affairs.

The alarming staffing profile University of Ghana was highlighted by Professor Tagoe, Vice Chancellor of the university during the recent congregation of the university(14th March 2006, Ghanaian Times and posted on newtimesonline.com). Based on this, this paper will make some analysis of this situation to illustrate the enormity of the problem. The total number of senior members is 873 made up of 679 males and 194 females.
In terms of the age distribution of senior members, 7 are below 30 years, 163 fall within the 31-40 category, 300 are in the 41-50 age bracket, 290 belong to the 51-60 year group and 113 are over 60 years.

Table 2 Statistics of HR manning levels of senior members(lecturers), University of Ghana, Legon.

Statistics: Staffing profile analysis

For Senior Members


Below 30




Above 60
























To solve this we must merge “below 30” and “31-40” columns because some values are too low. This will prevent us from using the Yates correction[1] as data will fit for a simple Chi-square test


Below 40



Above 60




















Males represent 77.78% of the senior members and women 22.22%
Distribution of senior members according to gender in different age ranges


Below 40



Above 60




















[1] Yates,F (1934). Contingency table involving small numbers and the χ2 test. Journal of the Royal statistical Society (Supplement) 1 : 217-235

Distribution of senior members according to age ranges


Below 40



Above 60











Degree of freedom is 3 and the sum of observed  Chi-square is 20.958
At 5% with a ddf of 3, the expected value is 7.81


Summary Analysis of Data
Total gender distribution – 78% male to 22% females.
Age diversity in percentage terms(% of young, old, very old etc)
0.8% (less than 1%) are below 30 years, 18.6%(less than 1/5th ) fall within the youthful age category of 31-40 years
34% are in the 41-50 years group, and 46.1% belong to the above 51 year group.
12.9% (more than 1/10th ) are above 60 years.
Gender % within age diversity ( % of females in each age category)

The drop out rate for female senior members is relatively higher to males from 51 years onwards and these may probably be due to the family/work life balance but this has to be investigated.

All sectors of the Ghanaian society must critically assess the implications of these figures(which although may not be 100% perfect) demonstrates to a reasonable extent how serious the situation is and the need for a concerted holistic non-partisan approach towards solving this phenomenon of critical skilled labor shortage of “knowledge people” who facilitate the transmission of knowledge, skills and competencies.

Age Diversity & Talent Management in HRD
There is evidence from school performance records that girls, boys and young men and women are performing well in schools. But in the same vein there is a disturbing pattern which shows that in broad terms, the educational systems fails to sensitize and alert them on possible career choice opportunities and implications for their personal development.

One of the most innovative measures which recognizes and aims to mainstream age diversity into talent management is the concept of internship programs for tertiary students offering various courses in the country’s tertiary institutions. It is intended to satisfy the needs of the job market and prepare young graduates for the world of work. This is a practical example of a measure to invest in people as part of a wider HRD.
There will be the need for all the stakeholders in education, business and industry, to collaborate and ensure a sustainable smooth program that provides critical and practical skills. Government must provide incentives to employers who employ young graduates to institutionalize this initiative in all sectors of the economy.

This section has analyzed some of the factors that must be addressed in order to achieve MCA C2.
A Talent management conceptual module to help realize MCA Criteria 2.
A robust leadership renewal strategy, will facilitate the realization of MCA C2 within the framework of the proposed non partisan country capacity building policy discussed earlier. This section proposes a talent management model in that regard.

Table 3 Talent Management Model



In conclusion, this paper proposes in brief the “10 commandments” necessary to realize MCA C2 and  HRD in Ghana: 

  • Need to invest in learning resources ( research, E-learning, capacity building)
  • More people investment centered HR programs and practices in employment relations policy at the corporate and country level. Examples may include, Paternity leave, flexible working time, child care support, paid career breaks.
  • Establishment of rigorous corporate and country HRD performance standards via regular social equality audits to monitor and evaluate people investment polices at the corporate and national level.
  • Need to enforce the applicable sanctions on defaulters as per the law.
  • Need to recognize and support incentives that promote people investment in HRD e.g. promote work placements, scholarships, building relations between training institutions and employers and government should provide recognition and support.
  • The use of an agreed competency framework for appointing high caliber human resources and a stop to the practice victimization of skilled person due to political diversity.(Coleman 2006)
  • Need for effective building relations between employers, the educational system, politicians and policy makers to ensure the development of a comprehensive and systematic country capacity building policy, program and strategy in a systematic and integrated non partisan manner that is not politicized and collectively owned by all Ghanaian.
  • Need for reasonably attractive but sustainable compensation systems to reduce the brain drain.
  • Sustainability - Resource critical state institutions by strengthening education and health services, recognize and support organization whose business is to facilitate the production, development and retention of quality human resources. Some NGOS are playing a critical role in promoting HRD but there are also others who are weak and opportunistic and Government need to address this. The is now the time to pass the NGO bill to regulate the activities of NGOs to ensure effective coordination of HRD initiatives to support people investment.
  • And lets set milestones   (civil society and policy makers)   in terms of indicators and consistently monitor and evaluate them.

The above issues if not properly conceptualized and addressed, can create talent wastage and poor talent management. This can affect the realization of the country’s  human resources development agenda due to the  perpetuation either covertly or overtly of the culture and politics of exclusion and marginalisation.(both at level of corporate governance and at the national level).

This article submits that inadequate investment in people is also one of  the structural causes of poverty. The MCA offers a good opportunity to promote a vigorous human resources development program. The MCA principles and especially citeria 2, requires a holistic conceptual and pragmatic appreciation of the issues involved in realizing the concept of investing in people.   

We have discussed the issues, context, prospects and challenges that must be considered in order to achieve MCA C2, investing in people, within the framework of a well defined country HRD program. A  rights-based HRD oriented diversity  perspective was applied as the conceptual framework and it helped to discuss the issues of gender and diversity at all levels of society to better understand the prospects and challenges involved in HRD.   It has facilitated the definition and discussion on the dynamics of the various diverse variables inherent in promoting HRD and national development. It has also proposed mechanisms to recognize, respect and integrate diversity in HRD.  This perspective has helped to reflect upon the gamut of factors that must be recognized in order to realize criteria 2 of the MCA to support the government’s HRD program.


Anne Goetz (1997)  Managing Organizational Change in Caroline Sweetman (ed) Gender in  Development Organizations (10-15). 

Asenso-Boakye Francis (2006) Millenium Challenge Account-Understanding The New US development assistance program. In Ghanaian Chronicle, Posted on April 24, at Joyonline

 Baron, S. Alma, (1989) What Men Are Saying About Women in Business: A Decade Later, Business Horizons, July-August 1989 

Brown, Drusilla, Alan Deardorf and Robert Stern (2002) The Effects of Multinational Production on Wages and Working Conditions in developing Countries. 

Caroline Sweetman(ed) (1997) Gender in Development Organisations

Casely Coleman, (2006) Understanding Gender Diversity in Human Resources Administration in Daily Graphic (March 7&8). 

Casely Coleman (2006) Forming A new Government using a competency framework, in  Daily Graphic (January 8 2005). 

Casely Coleman (1996) Organising and Managing Confict In Employment Relations. Unpublished Master of Philosophy Thesis, University of Bergen, Norway. 

Copeland Lennie(1988) Valuing Diversity, Making The Most of Cultural Differences at the workplace.  

Cornwall, A (2001) “ Making a Difference? Gender and participatory development”. IDS Discussion Paper 378, Brighton: Institute of Development Studies. 

Cox Taylor(1993) Cultural Diversity in Organization, Theory, Research & Practice

Daily Graphic in Myjoyonline.com (2005, 21 November)

Daily Graphic (2006, March 7) 

Derbyshire, H  (2002) Gender Manual: A practical guide for development policy makers and practitioners. Social Development Division, DFID, London. 

F. Wilson,(2003) Organizational Behavior and Gender. Second Edition. 

Falletta, S (2005) Organizational Diagnostics Models: A Review & Synthesis,

White paper Leadersphere Inc.

Ghana Labour Code (2003) Act 651

Ghana Statistical Service (2000) Ghana Living Standards Survey-Report of the Fourth Round

Ghana Statistical Service (2002) 2000 Population and Housing Census-Summary Report of Final Results

Ghanaian Chronicle in Myjoyonline.com (2006, 28 February)

Ghanaian Chronicle in Myjoyonline.com (2006, 31 March)

Ghanaian Chronicle in Myjoyonlie.com(2006, 2 May)

GNA in Myjoyonline.com (2006, 2 May)

GNA in Myjoyonline.com(2005, 17 November)

GNA in Myjoyonline.com(2005, 9 March)

GNA in Myjoyonline.com (2005, 30 December )

GNA in Myjoyonline.com(2005, December 13)

GNA in Myjoyonline.com (2006, March 31)

Goetz, A, (1997) Managing Organizational change :the gendered organization of space and time in (ed) Caroline Sweetman Gender in Development Organisations 

Government of Ghana(2002) Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy 2002-2004-An Agenda For growth and Prosperity  

Goulden J. and S Glyde (2004) “Development of a rights-based monitoring tool for CARE Malawi”, CARE International UK, March.

Http:bbc.co.uk(2006, 7 March)

http://www.mca.gov/countires/threshold/thesholdguidanceenFY06.shtml pages 1-3.  

Human Development Report (1995) Pages 72-86

Human Development Report (2002) 

Industrial Relations Act 1965, Act 299.

Institute of Statistical, Social & Economic Research, University of Ghana, Legon(2003). The State of the Ghanaian Economy in 2002 

Jackson, C (1996) Rescuing Gender from The Poverty Trap  

Joseph R.A Ayee(1988) The Provisional National defence Council’s Blue Book on District Political Authority and the Future of Local Government in Ghana. In Journal of Management Studies (25-38) 

Joseph R.A Ayee (1992) Decentralization under Ghana’s Fourth Republican Constitution. In Journal of Management Studies(Volume 4, 1-10) 

Joseph R.A. Ayee (1998) The 1996 General Elections and Democratic Consolidation in Ghana. 

Joseph R.A Ayee(ed)  (2001) Deepening Democracy in Ghana: Politics of 2000 Elections, Thematic Studies.(Volume 1). 

J.Kodz, H. Harper, and S. Dench(2002) Work-Life Balance: Beyond the Rhetoric 

J.R. Hackman, E.E. Lawler, and L.W Porter(eds),(1983) Perspectives on Behavior in Organizations. 

Kerisey David and Marilyn Bates(1978) Please Understand Me: Character & Temperament Types.

L. Hojgaard (2002) Tracy Differentiation in Gendered Leadership, in Gender, Work and Organization, (Vol 9, No.1) 

Mary Gentile ed. (1996) Differences That Work.(15)

Myers-Briggs, Isabel with Peter Myers, (1980) Gifts Differing

Myjoyonline.com (2006,November 21)

Myjoyonline.com (2005,October 3)

Myjoyonline.com (2006,March 9)

Myjoyonline.com (2006,March 31)

Myjoyonline.com (2006,May 2).

Myjoyonline.com(2003, April 3)

Myjoyonline.com(2006, 25 April)

Myjoyonline.com (2005, July 19)

Newtimesonline.com (2006 March 14)

Okwiry L, (2004) Report on Gender Policies and Practices in Selected organizations.

Oye Lithur (2006) Mandatory Pregnancy Test Unlawful Part 2 in Daily Graphic (11) 

Patricia Morris, (1995) The Gender Audit, A Process For Organizational Self Assessment and Action Planning.

Paul Dinsmore, Human Factors in Project Management(1990:225-244)

Schoonover, S,(1998) Human Resources Competencies For The year 2000. The Wake Up Call. 

Rush, Harold M.F(1965) What is Behavioral Science?

Rush, Harold M.F(1965) The Behavioral Science in Craig R(ed) Training & Development Handbook (135-161). 

Stephen Schoonover, Human Resource Competencies For The Year 2000. The Wake-Up Call. 1998 

Skinner, B.F, (1953) Science & Human Behavior.

Tichy, N.M (1983) Managing Strategic Change: Technical, political and cultural dynamics.

UNICEF (2000) Ghana National Report.

University of Ghana (2006) Human Resources in University of Ghana Annual Publication Basic Statistics (p16-17).

WWW.MCA.(2006, May 3) Pages 1-3 

William Johnston(1996) Global Workforce 2000: The New World Labour Market in Mary Gentile(ed) Differences That Work.(3-26) 

Yates, F (1934). Contingency table involving small numbers and the χ2 test in Journal of the Royal Statistical Society (Supplement) 1 : 217-235

Return to Table of Contents


In Memory of Professor Don Ohadike 

      A memorial conference in honor of Professor Don Ohadike took place at the Africana Center, Cornell University on September 21-22, 2006. Among the distinguished scholars attending the conference were the Keynote Speaker, Professor Ali Mazrui; and Professor Paul Tiyambe Zeleza, of Penn State University, who gave the Plenary Address. The  Distinguished Frances Higginbotham Nalle Centennial Professor in History at the University of Texas, Professor Toyin Falola was co-convener of the conference and so, too, Professor Salah Hassan, Director of the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University. 

          The first session  on colonial order and resistance was chaired by Professor  Robert Harris. Professor N’Dri Assie- Lumumba highlighted the traditions of resistance to French occupation in areas such as Treichville and Port Buet, Abidjan. She reflected also on Ohadike’s research  in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire  and his overall contribution to ‘resistance studies’ during her illuminating discussion.  For  Professor Felix Ekechi of Kent State University, the Igbo culture of resistance to western imperialism was perhaps the longest in the African continent, a view that generated a great deal of controversy. Professor Fouad Makki of Cornell’s Sociology Department argued that  Eritrea’s struggle for independence from Ethiopia was another example of  an emancipatory struggle against domination. He proceeded to discuss the religious tension between the Ethiopian highlands and lowlands and the extent to which this phenomenon  affected Eritrean and  Ethiopian identities. Toyin Falola served as the discussant  in this panel. Falola saw five main issues emanating from this panel, namely, resistance as ideology; the roots of resistance; the interconnections between resistance and nationalism; and resistance as agency in shaping lives. Moreover he wondered at  the difficulty confronting African nation states in transforming such vigorous episodes of organized nationalism and resistance into enduring  civic institutions and  successful nation states.

          Diasporic Africans and Nationalism preoccupied the second panel, which included a focus on Haiti and Global Africa by Professor Locksley Edmondson of Cornell University. Not only was Haiti successful in breaking the chains of enslavement and French colonialism but it also inspired generations of scholars. Was the high debt burden,  inflicted by the French, a reason for Haiti’s sluggish economic growth in the decades after its path-breaking  and spectacular emergence as a free country? Was the period of U.S. occupation of Haiti between 1914 and 1934 and the U.S- Duvalier alliance a factor in its economic stagnation ? And what of Aristide’s formula for reparations? Was that a cause of his demise? Which of the Caribbean states was the most African of  all, and what does this ultimately mean? Why was Haiti successful in breaking the chains of bondage whilst Palmares failed, asked Professor Chuku of Millersville University, Pennsylvania.  These were some of the issues generated by this exciting panel. Impressive was the brilliance of the discussant, Professor Salah Hassan, Director of the Africana Center, as he commented on the coded and decoded symbolism of nationalists movements such as Rastafarianism and dissected the individual presentations.

       The on-going atrocities taking place in Darfur, Sudan, undoubtedly crossed the minds of participants, as Ahmad Sikanga reflected on better days of unity and co-operation among Sudanese railway workers from various traditions. Then there were signs of progress and modernity and the distinctions between manual and intellectual labor subsumed.

        Given Aderonke Adesanya’s brilliant analysis of the various emerging schools of Nigerian Art to date, I am particularly anxious to read the  book emanating from this conference under the editorship of the indefatigable Toyin Falola. I can hardly wait to read also  Chika Okeke-Agulu’s chapter on Obiora Udechukwu; Carolyn Brown’s piece on ‘respectable clerks and unruly cowboys in Enugu 1914-1955’; Andrew Barnes on  Islam and Northern Administrators 1900 to 1960; Okome’s discussion on nationalism and development in the age of globalization; and of equal interest, Gloria Chuku’s evaluation of the Abeokuta and Aba women  protest movements of the early 20th century. 

The book will be published by Africa World Press. 

Gloria Emeagwali,


Return to Table of Contents