Boardroom Institute Confers Honorary Emeritus Fellowship On Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings

6 10 2011

Mr Ibrahim Awal, former MD of Graphic congratulates Nana Konadu while President Rawlings looks onFormer First Lady and President of the 31st December Women’s Movement, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings was on Tuesday conferred with an Honorary Emeritus Fellowship by the BOARDROOM INSTITUTE of the Graduate School of Governance and Leadership at a grand ceremony at the National Theatre.

Nana Konadu was awarded for championing Gender Governance and serving as an inspiration to women across the country.

Okyehene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori also received a similar award with 12 other enterprising leaders receiving Honorary Fellowships of the Institute.

An enthusiastic audience who were overwhelmed by the presence of the former First Family cheered Mrs. Rawlings who was accompanied by her husband and Former President of Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings and her two daughters, Yaa Asantewaa and Amina on.

Accepting her award, Nana Konadu said the journey of women’s empowerment is far from over.

“Many sectors of our society still relegate women to the background, regarding them as second-rate citizens. Ihave always known that until women become an absolute part of national development both in quality and quantity, our country Ghana will not be what it can be.”

She said society needs to progress to a stage where the issue of male/female divide will be a blur and will not factor in decision-making.

“Leadership, the former First Lady said, “is about capacity, competence, ability to perform and analyse results. More importantly, leadership is about inspiring others to pick up that mantle to in turn lead future generations. I humbly use this medium to call on all sectors of our society to believe in the leadership abilities and capabilities of women.”

Nana Konadu was full of praise for her family who she said had served as advisors and critics. She also praised members of the 31st December Women’s Movement who she said had worked hard to break the cycle of poverty.

The executive director of Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey who was Chairman of the occasion challenged the private sector to support the building of strong institutions and consolidate Ghana’s democracy by investing in the memoirs of leaders.

Guest Speaker, Dr. Kwesi Jonah, Senior Political Science lecturer at the University of Ghana lamented the huge gap between the development of democratic institutions in Ghana and that of private sector development. He said while our democracy was becoming the envy of many across the continent, private sector development could not boast same and called for a conscious effort to ensure that private sector developed at a fast pace enhance national development.

Please find below the full text of Nana Konadu’s acceptance speech.

ADDRESS BY HER EXCELLENCY NANA KONADU AGYEMAN-RAWLINGS, FORMER FIRST LADY AND PRESIDENT OF THE 31ST DECEMBER WOMEN’S MOVEMENT AT A CEREMONY TO CONFER ON HER AN EMERITUS FELLOWSHIP FOR GENDER GOVERNANCE BY THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF GOVERNANCE AND LEADERSHIP

Mr. Chairman, Your Excellency Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings,Your Majesty Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, the Chancellor of the Graduate School of Governance and Leadership, Reverend Gideon Titi Ofei, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen:

When I received the letter of conferment of the Emeritus Fellowship in recognition of the role I have played in women empowerment and development, which you have very appropriately labeled ‘Gender Governance, I was humbled.

I feel a sense of pride because it will encourage many more women to reach for certain goals in life.

To reach your potential and to make a difference in the lives of people, you must first determine your vision of a better world and get started. I always say that you have a chance once in a lifetime to make a difference and you either take that bold step or you don’t and you live to regret it. I decided to use will and desire to energize and motivate myself to overcome my obstacles.

For 29 years, I have worked diligently and persistently on developing women socially, politically, economically and culturally. Has it been an uphill task? Most certainly. However I put commitment and conviction above all else, and today the confidence of Ghanaian women in all spheres of national development is visible.

While we recognize the role of women today, the journey of women empowerment is far from over. Many sectors of our society still relegate women to the background, regarding them as second-rate citizens. I have always known that until women become an absolute part of national development both in quality and quantity, our country Ghana will not be what it can be. Our society needs to progress to a stage where the issue of a male/female divide will be a blur and will not factor in decision-making.

Mr. Chairman, leadership is about capacity, competence, ability to perform and analyse results. More importantly, leadership is about inspiring others to pick up that mantle to in turn lead future generations. I humbly use this medium to call on all sectors of our society to believe in the leadership abilities and capabilities of women.

Mr. Chairman, my success in the area of Gender Governance has been due to the strength of character and resilience of a group of women – the 31st December Women’s Movement, who have been with me through a journey spanning 29 years.

While sharing this award with all the hardworking and efficient 31st December Women, I also want to share this with all the young people who in their various ways have confidence that we need African women on board to improve the quality of lives in our countries.

I have to say a warm thank you to my lovely children who have been both my advisors and critics.

My mother Felicia is here. Thank you ‘mommi’. You gave us the moral education and strength of fortitude that continues to guide whatever I do. If my father were still alive, I would say thank you for giving me the direction in life; for inspiring me to remain unperturbed by obstacles to my vision. He would say ‘now that man has managed to land on the moon, the sky is no longer your limit – reach beyond the skies.

And to my husband, who has always supported me, believed in me and offered inspiration that every wife needs, thank you. I am proud of who you are to me and I dedicate this award to you, my family and to all who have contributed to who I am today.

I know I have already said this but I have to say again that I am eternally thankful to all women of Ghana, especially to the 31st December Women’s Movement who have worked and continue to work tirelessly to break the cycle of poverty in their communities.  And to the youth of Ghana who stood boldly behind me in the belief that a woman can do it, I say thank you.

To the Graduate School of Governance and Leadership I saythank you for the role you are playing in boosting the capacities of leaders in our society, many of who previously did not have a local platform to pursuefurther education.

Your awards today will serve not only as an inspiration to us the recipients, but to many across the country.

Thank you.

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