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Kufuor Foundation Launch...University Of Ghana Witnesses A Rare Occassion   
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From left: Eberhard Schanze, Thabo Mbeki, John Agyekum Kufuor, Prof Ernest Aryeetey, Horst Kohler, Jerry John Rawlings and Prof Kwasi Yankah.
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The University of Ghana yesterday witnessed a rare occasion when it played host to four former presidentstwo from Ghana, and their German and South African counterparts.

This was during the official launch of the John Agyekum Kufuor Foundation to promote excellence in leadership, good governance and development.

The former leaders, who delivered a lecture on Walking The Tightrope: Balancing State, Market And Society were Jerry John Rawlings, Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and Horst Khler of Germany as well as their host, Mr. Kufuor, whose excitement knew no bounds when he saw his predecessor at the event.

In acknowledging the presence of his predecessor, Mr. Kufuor said, The presence of former President Rawlings shows how the foundation is determined to be non-partisan.

Also there to show solidarity were a host of dignitaries including NPP flagbearer Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and many former NPP appointees, representatives of political parties, particularly the newly-elected chairman of the CPP, Samia Nkrumah, members of the academia, religious bodies, the diplomatic corps, including the German Ambassador to Ghana, Eberhard Schanze, civil society organizations and students.

Before the German Presidents lecture at the Great Hall of Ghanas premier university, Presidents Kohler and Mbeki accompanied Mr. Kufuor to the project site to officially break the ground for the construction of the John Agyekum Kufuor Center of Excellence.

The Great Hall was so packed to the extent that a part of the large audience had to stay outside throughout the programme.

As soon as Professor Kwesi Yankah, former Pro-Vice Chancellor of the university, who was the moderator, announced the presence of former President Rawlings and Nana Akufo-Addo in the course of the proceedings, the audience greeted each announcement with huge applause.

Making an introductory remark, Mr. Kufuor said the center would serve as a think tank on institutional and socio-economic development issues and added that the foundation would have a global outlook.

He said the center would focus on critical thinking and provide an atmosphere that would ensure that the youth were nurtured on how to become responsible leaders.

In my time in office, I became convinced that good and exemplary leadership is the critical ingredient for national development and after retiring I decided to leave a legacy for the emerging generation.

Dignitaries observing the model of the centre
President Mbeki, in his solidarity message, said it was time for authorities and institutions on the continent to make concerted efforts to provide quality leadership and nurturing for the youth.

He commended President Kufuor for establishing the foundation and said it would serve as an inspiration for the youth to strive for excellence.

Professor Ernest Aryeetey, Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, who chaired the lecture, said, This is the first time this university or any other university in the country is playing host to such an event.

He said the commitment shown by former President Kufuor should help to strengthen the bond between politics and the academia and also facilitate the effort to nurture the youth to take up leadership positions.
Source: William Yaw Owusu

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