Thirty students from various universities in the country last Saturday became the fifth batch of beneficiaries to be inducted into the Kufuor Scholars Programme started in 2015.
The new batch, with the highest group of beneficiaries, brings to 112 the number of students admitted into the programme.
The three-year training and mentorship programme, the brainchild of former President John Agyekum Kufuor, is being run by the John Agyekum Kufuor Foundation to mentor the scholars in the areas of leadership, governance and development.
The 30, made up of 16 young women and 14 men, were selected from a list of 1,200 students who applied for the scholars programme this year.
They are from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), the University of Ghana (UG), the University of Development Studies (UDS), the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Ashesi University, the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) and the Ghana Communications Technology University, formerly Ghana Technology University College (GTUC).
Six of the beneficiaries were selected from the Ashanti Region, six from the Volta, five from Central, three from Eastern and two from the Greater Accra Region.
A beneficiary each was selected from the Western, Bono, Northern and Oti regions.
At the ceremony at the former President’s house at Peduase, near Aburi in the Eastern Region, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the foundation, Professor Baffour Agyeman-Duah, explained that the selection of the students was strictly based on merit.
He commended the 30 students for their patience in going through the competitive and rigorous process, adding that “they have defied all the odds amidst the pandemic to join this programme”.
Prof. Agyeman-Duah noted that for the next three years, the scholars would be exposed to various activities, including leadership training camps, mentoring and interacting with the former President, which were all geared towards building their capacity to address pressing needs in Ghana and Africa.
“The objective is to expose them as much as possible so they can prepare themselves better for future leadership,” he added.
Former President Kufuor shared his public life experience with the beneficiaries and charged them to pursue excellence in their various fields of study.
He emphasised the need for the students to be committed to empowering mankind to further help transform the African continent, saying: “Humanity is at the centre of everything, and so wherever you find yourself, try and change the place and make an impact.”
Former President Kufuor again advised the students to nurture themselves physically and emotionally in their pursuit of becoming change agents and leaders in various sectors of the economy.
That, according to him, would ensure effective leadership without compromising on their entrusted roles while reducing the incidence of corruption on the continent.
“As you leave here today, I discharge you as missionaries with the mission of helping to impact the country positively and changing the negative perception about the African continent,” Mr Kufuor said.