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Q: Who is Spio-Garbrah?

 
A: Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah is one of the Ghana' s most distinguished personalities. He is the current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the London-based Commonwealth Telecommunication Organization (CTO). He was appointed as CEO after a global competitive process involving some 100 applicants from some 15 countries, and is the first African to hold this appointment in the CTO' s 105-year history. After previous full-time work experiences at

the World Bank, the African Development and UNESCO, Dr. Spio-Garbrah' s work at the CTO has given him very unique insights into how the world works, and Ghana's place and potential within the global economic and political order. He brought to the CTO more than 25 years of solid experience in government, diplomacy, business, banking, and consulting.
He has served as Ghana's Ambassador to the United States of America and a cabinet minister, holding the portfolios of minister of communication and of education, and acting for a period as minister of mines and energy. He worked previously for such globally reputable private sector firms as Southwestern Bell (later known as SBC, and now part of AT&T) and Hill and Knowlton, then the world' s largest public relations firm in New York. He is highly respected by all his various bosses for his efficiency, creativity and resourcefulness, and several of these bosses have independently foreseen his future leadership of Ghana and advised him as such.
He was born in Kumasi, Ghana, attended Achimota School and the University of Ghana and also studied in the Unites States.

Q: What can he do for the people of Ghana as a national figure and leader?

A: Spio-Garbrah continues to present a clear vision to the people of Ghana that they can understand. The vision will be under-girded by the absolute importance of Ghana mastering the control and management of its human and natural resources, and competing more effectively within the global economic system.

Ghana' s long term capacity to grow much faster economically, to extricate herself from shackles of abject poverty in which it now finds itself, will depend very much on the quality of leadership the country enjoys and the ability of the new leader to reach out to Ghanaians irrespective of their partisan affiliations.

Spio-Garbrah has an unusual combination of experience in Ghana and internationally to quickly develop programmes that will enable Ghana to launch onto the path of sustainable development and compete in business with other African, Asia, Latin American and European nations. Although four years is not a long time for any President, he stands the best chance of raising the living standards of Ghanaians, to enable them enjoy the middle income status that we are all eagerly craving for.

We need a man who can unite Ghanaians, irrespective of political and other affiliations, for the challenges that face the nation. Many Friends of Spio have a strong belief and conviction that Dr. Spio-Garbrah has solid leadership qualities, foresight, vision and can one day be the new dynamic leader that all Ghanaians are waiting for to lead Ghana to the Promised Land.


Q: What rare leadership qualities does Dr.Spio-Garbrah bring to the Ghanaian political landscape?

A: A study of Dr. Spio' s accomplishments both domestically and internationally, reveals that he has solid leadership qualities and understands the problems of Ghana and Africa. Friends of Spio believe that he has had thorough and excellent preparation for the job of President having worked as a government minister, ambassador, senior official of international financial institutions, a banker, teacher, farmer, journalist, sales and advertising man. Furthermore, he is the only Ghanaian we know of who has held positions in four separate international organizations: the World Bank Group, the African Development Bank Group, UNESCO within the UN family, and the CTO within the Commonwealth family. All these appointments were earned essentially on merit, rather than on the basis of political lobbying.

In these positions, he has also operated at all the four critical levels of any institution' s stewardship—he has been a member of the professional staff, at the World Bank Group; a member of the management team, at the African Development Bank; the head of an organization, as CEO of the CTO; and as a member of the governing board, as an Executive Board member of UNESCO.

Through these varies experiences, he has had a very unusual opportunity to understand the inner working of organizations whose routine decisions can have critical impact on countries such as Ghana. He maintains contact with a number of important officials of these institutions, and stands the best chance of any of the candidates from either the NDC, NPP or CPP in deriving the most from these organizations.

His leadership qualities include a quick mind, solution-finding and problem-solving orientation, his dynamism, creativity and decisiveness. He has a visionary understanding of the problems of underdevelopment and the solutions to them, as well as his courage, selflessness, determination, persuasiveness, passion about Ghana, and his drive and winning attitude.

Q: Does he really understand the psyche of the Ghanaian electorate and what would he say to them to persuade them to vote for him someday?

A:The Ghanaian electorate is basically craving for a better living standard, which means to grow much faster economically and to extricate itself from the shackles of abject poverty. Dr Spio-Garbrah stated during an interview in January 2006 with Paul Adom-Otchere, on Good Evening Ghana, that social scientific research should have been conducted to ascertain why NDC lost in 2000 and 2004. We, who are Friends of Spio, believe that, if the research had been conducted, as recommended by Spio-Garbrah, the NDC could have ascertained the reasons why it lost, especially in the Central and Western regions, and at least the party would have been in a better position to conduct subsequent elections.

Dr. Spio-Garbrah has said at various times that he envisions a Ghana where unity overrides partisanship when it comes to the overall national interest. He will undoubtedly amplify this message in all its variants should he one day be nominated by his Party to run for President. We, who are his Friends, believe that the message of Unity for Development is one that will play successfully with high resonance throughout Ghana.

Q: What are Spio-Garbrah' s relationships with leaders of other political parties in Ghana, that will ensure that he can forge a common agenda for national development?

A: Dr. Spio-Garbrah has excellent relations with most of the leadership of other political parties, and enjoys very cordial and friendly relations. He is well-known to such opposition party leaders like Dr. Edward Mahama of the PNC, Dan Markin of the DPP, Danny Ofori-Atta of EGLE, Dr Delle of CPP, Prof Hagan, former flag bearer of the CPP, Mr Dan "Domestication" Lartey of the GCPP, and Goosie Tandoh of the Reform Party. As a result of these good relations, and Spio-Garbrah' s preference for open mutually respectful conversation, there is good evidence that many of these opposition leaders will prefer him to emerge from the NDC as leader one day, to ensure an opposition victory in the next elections.

His relations with other NDC leaders is sound, from Party Founder and ex-President Jerry Rawlings, and Prof Atta Mills to Alhaji Idrissu Mahama, John Mahama, Eddie Annan, members of the National and Functional Executive of the Party, Regional and Constituency Executives. His good relations extends to the NDC Parliamentary c leadership and caucus, prominent women in the Party such as Mrs Rawlings and Ama Benyiwa Doe, and Youth Leaders like Hon. Harunna Iddrisu and the younger members of Parliament. He acknowledges that there are a few people in the NDC, probably less than ten people, who on their own identified his potential leadership qualities even before he was fully aware of them, and who have decided over many years to work against his political potential and promise. This small group, it is known, are continually feeding other innocent members of the NDC and the general Ghanaian public with lies about Dr Spio-Garbrah in order to reduce his popularity or to make him hated. However, as more and more Ghanaians become acquainted with DR Spio-Garbrah, they become increasingly convinced of his good qualities and realize the lies that they are being told about him. Once they realize that they have been misled, such people become even more enthused about his leadership potential and become his ardent supporters, often going off to create their own Friends of Spio group or other Spio Fan Clubs with their own resources.

Within the NPP, there are many MPs and other regional and constituency leaders of the Party who have come out to encourage Dr. Spio-Garbrah to run someday as a party and national leader, having become very disappointed with the performance of their own Party and acknowledging that if the NDC is likely to win any future elections then Ghana is better off with a far-sighted leader such as Dr. Spio-Garbrah. He has maintained mutually respectful relations with President Kufuor, Vice President Alieu Mahama, most of the members of the NPP Cabinet and a number of Ambassadors and High Commissioners.

Q: How about his vision for the youth?

A: Having begun his working life as a graduate teacher, at the age of 19, at Adisadel College, Cape Coast, and being a father of four, Dr. Spio-Garbrah is very much a lover of the youth and a strong promoter of their ideals and potentials. As minister of Education, he surprised leaders of the National Union of Ghana students by presenting them with a 4-wheel drive and a computer, after they had led one of their annual ritual of demonstrations against the Ministry of Education and the government. The NUGS leadership confessed that he was the first Minister to have donated a vehicle to the student' s movement. His success in leading the creating of the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), which today is doing a lot for students, teachers and lecturers, is one of the many reasons that the youth of Ghana have come to see Dr. Spio-Garbrah as a role model and look for him to assume a leadership role in Ghana.


Q: Has he declared his intentions to contest? What is his real motivation to contest the up-coming election having in mind that he seems to be interest in being a president? Why has he now decided to be flag bearer/presidential candidate for the 2008 election?

A: Dr. Spio-Garbrah has not made his intentions to contest any national election yet, except possibly for positions within the NDC itself. As you may know, he is currently the CEO of an international organization, and is busy performing his official functions in London. However, we in the Friends of Spio think that Dr. Spio-Garbrah' s success as an international technocrat should not hamper his political intentions if he decides to run for the presidency. It is not unusual these days for international public servants, such as World Bank and UN officials, to be seconded from their respective organizations to take up political appointments in their countries of origin. The Movement strongly believes that the notion that Dr. Spio-Garbrah should leave an important international job, where he is making Ghana proud, just to declare his interest and campaign for a political position that will not be vacant for nearly 30 months seem quite unusual. The idea that people who wish to campaign for political office in Ghana must leave behind their productive employment—as lawyers, business executives, doctors, or even public servants--and spend all their time attending funerals and traveling the lengths and breaths of the country is not, in our view, the best use of the valuable time of the citizenry. It is a total waste of the productive work of individuals like Spio-Garbrah who is known to have transformed the CTO in less than two years to become full-time political campaigner. Friends of Spio have a strong conviction that Spio-Garbrah is the kind of leader Ghana needs, and he will certainly declare his intentions at the appropriate time.

Q: What about his belief in openness and transparency, and his position on corruption?

A: Dr Spio-Garbrah' s preferred mode of interaction with others is to engage in discussion aimed at reaching common ground. He believes in robust discussions, debates and where necessary arguments in order to achieve common understanding. As a leader, however, he has lots of ideas and initiatives and is perfectly able to take very decisive decisions in order to make progress if others chose to delay action. He is note for his openness and transparency, and discourages those who prefer to operate through subterfuge, double-dealing, forked tongues, deception and lies. He has established a solid reputation for being a fighter against corruption and public decisions that run counter to the national interest. It is not unknown for him to make statements and recommendations to his superiors or colleagues which he knows may not be pleasant but which he believes to be the truth or in Ghana' s or Africa' s interest.

FRIENDS OF SPIO

Q: What is the mission of “Friends of Spio” and “Spio Fan Clubs”?

A: The mission of Friends of Spio is to urge Ghanaians to encourage Dr. Spio-Garbrah, a highly-reputable technocrat to contest at the appropriate time for the presidency of Ghana. Friends of Spio is doing this by mobilizing moral, financial and organizational support for him, in order that he can become convinced of the need for him to make another major personal sacrifice for the nation and eventually leave his current job to stand as a Presidential candidate in Ghana.

Q: What do you mean by Friends of Spio are apolitical when everybody knows Spio-Garbrah is closely associated with NDC? Is he going to contest on the ticket of any political party? What political party are these Friends associated with?

A: For the record, many Friends of Spio are non-partisan Ghanaian citizens dedicated to the political renewal and the economic and financial prosperity of Ghana. Many of the members are from various political parties, including the CPP and NPP. This is why Friends of Spio are not officially affiliated with any political party. However, it will come as no surprise that the majority of its members are NDC people. The Friends of Spio and Spio Fan Clubs all over Ghana and in the diaspora are totally and absolutely independent of Dr. Spio-Garbrah. They raise their own funds through innovative means, and these clubs and associations do not necessarily represent his views or speak on his behalf. The decision and the reason to contest on the ticket of any given political party will be the sole decision of Dr. Spio-Garbrah. However, many Friends of Spio have known him from his school, teaching and professional days, are his personal friends and talk to him or send him mails on a periodic basis.

Q: Are Friends of Spio an anti-Mills Group?

A: Friends of Spio are not an anti-Mills or anti- any other personality. It is not even anti CPP or anti NPP. It is simply pro-Spio-Garbrah. The association and related clubs have been formed to prepare the grounds for Spio' s ascendancy to the presidency. The Movement does not have anything against any individual and it is being operated purely in line with the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana and its provisions for freedom of association and promotion of good governance and democratic principles.

 

 

 

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Copyright May 2006