Rector of GIMPA, Prof. Samuel Kwaku Bonsu has bemoaned the lessening value placed on ethics currently, especially among public servants, in a joint conference organized by GIMPA, together with the French Embassy in Ghana. The event took place at the Greenhill campus of GIMPA on 5th May, this year.
The aim of the programme was, among other things, to provide a platform to discuss the French and Ghanaian models of public administration in a comparative light and to reflect on their present and future challenges.
The team from the French Embassy was led by the French Ambassador, H.E. Anne Sophie Ave. A student from the French National Institute of Public Services (INSP), who had come to Ghana on an exchange programme was also part of the team.
In his welcome address, Prof. Bonsu, said although GIMPA and INSP were different in outlook, they were both bonded by the pursuit of excellence. ‘We seek to get the best out of anyone who comes through us,’ he said.
‘Our relationship with the French education dates back awhile and exchanges between our schools are quite normal,’ he added.
Prof. Bonsu however, bemoaned the lessening value placed on ethics currently, especially in our duties as public servants saying ‘Ethics is fundamental when it comes to development.’
‘In very simple terms, I believe that ethics relates to behaviour, attitudes that we hold towards a particular object, work, religion, family, and others. Sadly ethics has shifted from hard work to money,’ he stressed.
He lamented that more people these days are driven by money, and thus, the pursuit of excellence had been replaced by the pursuit of money.
‘But I believe that doing the best we can to focus on what is right is necessary because public service requires a certain level of dedication that should be independent of financial gains,’ he maintained.
Prof. Bonsu was, therefore, optimistic that the interactions would go a long way to addressing some of these challenges.
Taking participants through the French model of public administration, H.E. Anne Sophie Ave recounted how the French administration had evolved after the French revolution and how it impacted public administration.
She indicated that INSP was born out of the idea of creating public servants who would put the interest of the country before their own interests.
‘The idea was to have a fair and transparent competition examination where any qualified person who applies and passes is trained to be loyal to whatever administration he or she is later assigned under,’ she said.
H.E. Anne Sophie Ave further indicated that ethics was one major value that was crucial to the French administration. Thus, in France, public servants are held accountable for their every action during the course of their official duties.
‘We take ethics very seriously and do not mix our private life with our public life otherwise you would have to face the repercussions,’ she stressed.
On his part, Prof. Kingsley Agomor, the Head of Department of the School of Public Service and Governance, who took participants through the Ghanaian model, gave the history of Ghana from colonial times to date.
He also gave a brief history of GIMPA and how it had evolved over the years.
He outlined the courses offered at GIMPA and outlined some of the expectations of a public servant in Ghana.
Mr Antonin Guilhot, a student at INSP also gave a briefing about INSP, its curriculum, the conditions of admission and other relevant information.
At the end of the programme, participants were allowed to ask questions and also make suggestions.