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After UT Bank, P. K Amoabeng Aims at Changing Africa’s Leadership Narrative By Mentoring Young People

Kofi Amoabeng tells The Accra Times that Africa’s narrative can only be different by changing the mindset of young leaders.

Leadership in Africa oftentimes looks, feels and is like asking for too much. Many citizens on the continent have had to grapple with their government’s inability to provide basic amenities most of the time. With governments continually falling into a legitimacy crisis, it appears as though nothing really works in this part of the world.

But having learned from the collapse of UT Bank as its former owner,  Capt. Prince Kofi Amoabeng wants to drive some change around Africa’s leadership narrative.

And how? By training young people through his foundation that he set up last year. The P. K. Amoabeng Leadership Foundation bets on creating leaders from the “right ideas.”

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For its first cohort, 20 young individuals, who are later called ‘scholars’ were selected out of the about 1500 that applied. Their training spans a year, which would see them receive mentoring, and lessons on building character, values, endurance, and bonding.
Kofi Amoabeng tells The Accra Times that Africa’s narrative can only be different by changing the mindset of young leaders.

“We all know the problem with Africa – we know it’s about leadership, mindset, but we’re not doing anything about the mindset. Now my passion is not about UT, it’s about how to change the narrative about Africa and it can only be changed through leadership. So that’s why I set up the foundation, and I’m writing books and my own story, and how it can change leadership in Africa,” he said.

His foundation is one among many in Africa – perhaps sitting in the ranks of what the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and the Africa Leadership Foundation do. But in as much as the P. K. Leadership Foundation is new to this league, and may now be finding its foot in this area, Amoabeng says he is “hard bent” on keeping through with his cause to shift the mindset of young people.

“The problem we have in Ghana and Africa for that matter is that, leadership is not supposed to be that difficult. But it’s extremely difficult in Ghana and in Africa. And that is because we don’t have the systems that will support the leadership,” he told The Accra Times in an interview. By the systems, I mean even the governments are not providing the basic infrastructure. So the leadership foundation that I formed, is to identify these, try to explain why it is the way it is, and really identify and make it quite clear that this is the situation.”

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What’s The Approach?

The foundation employs an interesting mix in its training. What seems quite fascinating would be making scholars experience a week of military drills. As a former captain who had served 15 years in the service, P.K. said military training offers the best leadership training – adding that after that one week, the scholars, “appreciated why soldiers are disciplined.”

“So in the first cohort of the leadership scholars, the first week I took them to Jungle Warfare School in Akyease to shake – excuse me to say – the nonsense out of their system. And they had one week of full surprises and all of them were thankful for the experience. So the scholars started with that, and then we started infusing all sort of training like bootcamps, mentoring, so it’s a whole package,” he said.

He is also utilizing the lessons from the collapse of his bank – telling how the UT story unfolded, so young people enrolled in his programme can learn from his wins and mistakes.

“We need a dramatic change in the mindset. So we’re going to cause a revolution in the mindset of the people. Unless I feel in my heart of hearts that these people would live the values that we are fulfilling in them, they are not going to qualify. In other words I’m trying to clone myself so that these people will change the narrative about leadership in African,” Capt. Amoabeng added.

Watch Capt. Amoabeng’s full interview with The Accra Times below:

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