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The Ashesi Way: Leadership and Ethics in Starting and Doing business in Ghana. 

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Embarking on a business venture in Ghana, much like anywhere else in the world, involves a complex journey filled with both challenges and opportunities. Yet, within the Ghanaian context, the significance of leadership and ethics emerges as pivotal elements that wield substantial influence over a business’s success and reputation. On May 29, 2023, Zelda Barnes, a Consultant at Ashesi University, led a masterclass for cohort 3 of the Standard Chartered Women in Technology programme on “Leadership and Ethics in Starting and Doing Business in Ghana.” 

Ms. Barnes, during her session, underscored the overarching themes of leadership, ethics, and values, emphasizing Ashesi University’s commitment to nurturing a new generation of Ethical Entrepreneurial Leaders, particularly within Africa. Her lecture served as an opportunity to instill in cohort 3 the essence of “The Ashesi Way,” stressing the cultivation of critical thinking skills and a genuine concern for others. 

Leadership’s Pivotal Role 

In delving into the concept of leadership, Ms. Barnes offered profound insights. She led the class in an exploration of the very essence of leadership, highlighting the qualities that distinguish a good leader. Effective leadership, as she highlighted, transcends mere decision-making; it encompasses the ability to inspire, motivate, and guide a team towards a shared vision. In the Ghanaian context, business leaders often find themselves walking a tightrope, as they must harmonize modern leadership practices with the preservation of traditional values. 

The Bedrock of Ethics 

Moving on to ethics, Ms. Barnes emphasized its paramount importance in business endeavors. Ethics, she stressed, forms the bedrock upon which sustainable business practices are built. In Ghana, the guiding principle of “Sankofa” resonates, urging entrepreneurs to draw wisdom from the past while forging ahead. This philosophy manifests in ethical considerations, such as fair treatment of employees, transparency in business transactions, and unwavering commitment to corporate social responsibility. Neglecting ethical standards not only jeopardizes a business’s reputation but also erodes the trust of consumers and investors alike. 

The Power of SWOT Analysis 

As her class drew to a close, Ms. Barnes empowered cohort 3 with the knowledge and understanding of SWOT analysis—a vital tool in business strategy. By conducting a comprehensive SWOT analysis, entrepreneurs gain the ability to identify opportunities and mitigate potential threats. This analytical framework is instrumental in nurturing sustainable and prosperous businesses within the dynamic landscape of Ghana. 

In conclusion, the journey of initiating and managing a business in Ghana is undeniably intricate. Leadership and ethics emerge as the twin pillars upon which enduring success and reputation are built. With guidance from institutions like Ashesi University and visionary educators like Zelda Barnes, Ghana stands poised to foster a new generation of Ethical Entrepreneurial Leaders who can navigate the complex terrain of business, ensuring not just prosperity but also the betterment of society as a whole.