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Higher Education and Developmental Leadership: The Case of Ghana

Amir Jones , Charlotte Jones and Susy Ndaruhutse

This study highlights the important role that quality education, at both secondary and higher level, has played in the formation of developmental leadership in Ghana

This paper reports on the third phase of a research programme that explores the links between higher education and developmental leadership and coalitions. This third phase looked specifically at how higher education has equipped developmental leaders and coalitions in Ghana with the necessary skills, values and networks for leadership and national reform.

 Leaders involved in the following three key areas of reform in Ghana were identified:

  • restoration of democracy (1987-2000)
  • Economic Recovery Programme and related public sector reforms (1983-1997)
  • liberalisation of the media (1989-2003)

The educational background f a longlist of 117 leaders was analysed and semi-structured interviews with 27 key leaders conducted,

covering the quality, content and culture of their education, as well as the key reforms that they had been involved in. They were
asked about the relative importance of education in the development of their skills, ideology, attitude and networks, and were asked
to compare this to the influence of pre-existing networks such as their political, religious and other social connections.

Where time permitted, ‘relationship survey’ asked interviewees to assess the strength of their connections to other

members on the 27-strong shortlist of key leaders and to describe the origin of these relationships. This gathered information
about the relative importance of higher education for networking and coalition-building.