Doctrines are seen as a set of principles that guide an administration. While the idea of doctrines has been applied in different parts of the world, applications of the concept to the Ghanaian context are lacking. As Ghana once again engages in a leadership contest, this piece seeks to assess Dr Bawumia and the doctrines that guide his worldview.
One of the major doctrines that characterizes Dr Bawumia’s leadership is Excellence. Excellence has always been the hallmark of the Bawumia proposition. Ingrained in his very nature, it has always been a governing principle in his personal, professional, and public life.
Throughout his life, the Vice president has been governed by the creed that if you worked hard and did your utmost best with dedication and effort, you will rise to the top. It is the underlying belief that we can all rise to prosperity through hard work and determination. In Bawumia, meritocracy will be a major value of our national endeavour. Ghana will have a leader who believes in the pursuit of excellence and not mediocrity.
We will be a nation of merit, hard work and reward. Mediocrity will be on the back burner with the pursuit of excellence brought to the frontline of national politics and national life.
Dr Bawumia’s leadership framework is also based on innovation. He is a thinker willing to embrace the future and new ways of doing things. His governance philosophy is anchored on the belief in innovation and creativity to propel the economy and other facets of governance and society in order to give Ghanaians a better economy, better life and better society. If Ghana and the African continent are to achieve real transformation in the socio-economic fortunes of their people, innovation will be key.
Innovation – with digitization as the anchor – will accelerate our march towards sustainable development, unlock the potential of all and sundry, empower the youth, transform every single sector in the country and usher Ghana into an era of reform and optimization of human and natural resources. The idea of digitization is predicated on the belief that it can lead to efficient social services, better quality of life, curb corruption, help generate a better economy and the creation of a more inclusive society.
Beyond the hardware structure of digitization, his unyielding focus in this area demonstrates something deeper: the belief in not subscribing to tradition or convention; the desire to banish an impossibility mindset from Ghanaian society; the audacity to dream; the belief in ideas not insults; the goal of producing efficiency; and the overall transformation of society.
The next doctrine is one predicated on empathetic leadership. All over the world, there is a deficit in empathy. Dr Bawumia’s work on social interventions and his overture to the vulnerable and downtrodden in society such as the lepers demonstrate a leader with enormous amounts of compassion and empathy. He has sometimes partnered with the well-known Rev. Fr. Andrew Campbell to bring joy and relief to some of the most neglected in our society.
Dr Bawumia with Fr Campbell share a common value of love, empathy, and concern for humanity, especially the less privileged in society. This Vice President brings to leadership not just intellectual but empathetic capital. This is important because, in the high-octane, fast-driven, complicated, and sometimes combustive world of politics, it is easy to be removed from the rest of society or lose one’s sense of empathy. A leader with such a natural predisposition is less likely to easily forget about the sufferings, needs and everyday reality of his people and thus remain grounded with people-centred policies.
Decency and civility also characterize the political ideology and style of the Vice President. This constitutes the last component of the present doctrinaire analysis.
His speech, language and communicative style are predicated on data and not given to the insults and intemperate language that has often undermined the quality of public discourse and sometimes fanned the flames of tension and conflict.
Within this doctrine are several components such as humility and respect for all. In other words, a leader who is humble is likely to listen to his people and take advice as well as suggestions. This is noteworthy. It indicates that he has the right temperament and judgement to become a leader of the nation.
This doctrine and belief in civility, civil discourse and civic culture will ensure that Ghana’s politics is elevated giving room for intelligent and intelligible discourse that shall move this country forward.
Writer: Dr Etse Sikanku