- It will be bizarre for any Ghanaian to rate Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah anything less than a 60 percent, looking at the unprecedented manner in handling the COVID 19 crisis communication.
Written By Mabel Delassie Awuku - "Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact last in your absence"-Sheryl Sanberg
Got to the office at 6am in the morning and the first person I bumped into was my Minister who was busily addressing an issue on phone and the first thought that run through my mind: " I wish he is able to achieve something meaningful, worthy to talk about"
Working in the Ghanaian Civil Service for over a decade, I am clear on how the system works and what it means for politicians to come and go, leaving no mark at all, caring less about serving without nothing to boast about.
This really left me expecting nothing good from politicians no matter how good, young, energetic or affable they might be but fortunately, a young baby politician has changed this perception I have held for so many years which is worth writing about.
Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah took over from the former Minister of Information Dr. Mustapha Abdul Hamid in one of the reshuffle exercises of government Ministers by the president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo.
It was Dr. Hamid who called the first staff durbar to inform staff about his intent to revamp ISD together with the Ministry of Information which was near collapse and could better be described as a white elephant growing grey, an exercise every new minister undertakes upon assumption of office.
The department started seeing face-lifting activities but at a very slow pace due to funding constraints. The excitement at seeing this glimmer of hope compelled me to put out an article in the daily graphic titled: "ISD undergoes face-lifting" an article in which I passionately expressed my excitement on what I see for the first time working at this very important agency of government which serves as the conduit of information dissemination of government activities and programs.
Learning that Dr. Hamid was changed to serve at the Zongo Ministry broke me down but his Deputy was raised to take up the position as the substantive Minister and here again I was compelled to asked " Is this going to work?"
Although I laud the efforts of Dr. Mustapha Abdul Hamid for his vision to see ISD work again, it is clear to me that, he got all he worked with to believe in ISD working again and this is what makes Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah a unique politician who did not wish away the dreams of his predecessor but rather proved that it was not just a talk shop but a move to fix the wrong and get ISD working again.
This piece stands incomplete without putting out what inspired my writing of this article to appreciate Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah for his tireless efforts to see the Ministry of Information (MOI) and the Information Services Department (ISD) rise to its core mandate and fulfill them without fear or favor.
Primarily, I would like to mention that, an office environment speaks volumes about your staff and deeply affects their morale and hence their productivity. I will entreat all to take a visit into the Ministry of Information and Information Services Department housed in the same premises to see for themselves the tremendous changes that have occurred and keeps occurring day in and day out. The office environment has changed, staff confidence is up and a glitter of smile on the faces of workers seems to say: “we are ready to help make our minister succeed"
Secondly, ISD public relations Officers are being adequately resourced through training workshops to help them effectively function liaising with their various MMDA’s, ensuring effective monitoring of Public relations officers work to make them more proactive and well-organized at their job functions alongside capacity building programmes rolled out, forms part of the achievement this young Minister has attained.
The media monitoring and research offices of the Department has not just been equipped but actively working not forgetting the overall ISD Transformation Agenda which will soon be rolled out at ISD offices in all the Districts and Regions, beginning with the Head Office.
It will be bizarre for any Ghanaian to rate Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah anything less than a 60 percent, looking at the unprecedented manner in handling the COVID 19 crisis communication.
Should readers cast their mind back, recall what it was like about 4 years ago when you step into the information Ministry, and what we see now, one can say that without our new look and modern press center, we could have incurred unprecedented cost renting suitable conference facilities to update Ghanaians on the Corona pandemic.
ISD is seeing a new wave of leadership that monitors and selects hard working and punctual staffs of the Department for awards to appreciate officers to spur them on and urge others to see the need to take their work seriously.
That aside, Mr. Nkrumah operates an open-door administrative strategy which allows any staff with worries, negative sentiments and problems to find him approachable and caring enough to seek his attention, advice or opinion on official issues or otherwise.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah defied all odds and made it happen and this gives us the impression that he can do more, making most staff hold on to the notion that “even if any change does occur in the political landscape which we have no power over, he would be a leader that deserves to be maintained as a result of the outcome oriented spirit he possesses”.
These sentiments are the direct opposite of what staff of ISD have felt over the years which compelled workers to form agitating groups aimed at forcefully kicking out such leaders off its premises owing to bad leadership and its attendant predicaments.
Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah is not a super-human because he definitely has flaws but for some of us he is a super hero because he makes things happen and a politician with a difference.
If this Minister stays a bit longer, ISD will rise to its glorious days of projecting government’s core programs and activities and as well ensure that the sentiments of Ghanaians are appropriately channeled, for effective and efficient work delivery for National Development.
Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, we have seen and laud your efforts even though human as we may be, would only yearn to see more. Ayeekoo!! K.O.N
The writer is a staff of the Information Services Department (ISD)