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“Do not be afraid of the media and its negative criticisms” – EOCO Boss charges women in leadership

Executive Director of the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah has charged women in leadership not allow themselves to belittled by negative criticisms from both traditional and social media.


She made these remarks while speaking at the 25th anniversary of The Ark Foundation Ghana in Accra on Thursday.


She said “I was motivated by someone not to be afraid of the media. I used to be so much afraid of the media and it was difficult for me to accept to speak at programmes. I used to decline invitations because I was always afraid or maybe, I was not courageous enough”


“The media is capable of saying and twisting issues. I was told to forget about what they will say and focus on my job because I cannot please everybody. No matter what you do, just be focused and do your best”


“There are some people who intentionally put out negative things to bring you down or shut you up. However, your response is what will determine whether the negative news about you is true or not”


“Learn to ignore. Just be focused. Learn to prove people wrong. Work hard and let them know that even if the position was given to you, you have delivered”


The EOCO Boss further showered praises on the Ark Foundation Ghana for its 25 years of success.


“I must say thank you to Dr. Angela. She has been a wonderful person and I can say my 8 years of being a part of the Ark Foundation Ghana has been a blessing. I thank her for the support”


Touching on her style of leadership and work, she said “I combine lot of styles depending on the situation I find myself in but generally, I am the type that believes in the human relation theory that human beings will work when they are treated well and also know that they are valued as well as appreciated”


"I can also be very authoritative depending on the situation, I can shout when I want things to happen"


"Throwing more light on challenges being faced as a woman in leadership, she said “I had lots of challenges from 2013. Challenges are not peculiar to being a woman but it is to all. It is your ability to be able to identify and resolve the issues. How do you identify the challenges and resolve them? You have to look for people who can support"

"When you go through challenges, do not throw your hands in despair rather find a way around it and I can tell you that there are lots of people out there who are willing to help you especially the men. It is your ability to identify and get help”


The EOCO Boss stressed that for one to manage critcisms, it depends on the mental preparation of that individual.


“Let me say that most of the things, whether you can manage or not depends on your mental preparation. There are things that we have to prepare for so that when it comes, we will not be taken by surprise. Most of us do not prepare for anything and when it happens, it becomes difficult to deal with it. We always have to anticipate and also be prepared”


Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), Kossi Yankey-Ayeh said “I have realized that my style has been collaboration. I cannot do it alone. If I had thought of doing it alone then I was not going to succeed or go far”


“One of the things I asked myself is, how do I empower the people around me especially the younger ones because we need to come up with new ideas and how do we work together to achieve greater things. So, I allow people to bring onboard different ideas. I make sure that when I am working with people, I ensure that every voice around that table is being heard”


Madam Yankey-Ayeh said “Challenges do not hit us because we are women. In times of challenges, make it a point to ask for help and support. Strengthen the network base because if you have a strong network, it actually helps you to surmount lot of challenges. It is sad that most women do not often support each other. I have 80% of my management team being women"


“Self-doubt creeps in whatever we do but the mindset is all that matters. When self-doubt sets in, always remember that people have been there before and they overcome so you can also make it.”


“Traditional and social media will even make one doubt him/herself. Making up your mind is difficult, but we have to get people who will always remind us to face the challenge and deal with them.


Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa cited servant leadership as her style of work.


“My style of leadership has been the servant leader and not a leader who sits at the top and expect people to do the work. So, from the onset, I applied the leadership style of getting my hands dirty and I plough the field with my staff and I believe it has helped.”


She said “I don’t believe, I face challenges because I am a woman. I don’t even see myself as a woman at all"


“There are times that I have self-doubts but I choose to rely on the word of God. We have to also learn how to control our emotions looking at the terrain we find ourselves in. We have to prepare, put systems and structures in place. Be like a General and always be prepaid. I approach every challenge with the hope of overcoming it.


“Don’t be stressed and be all over the place, rather be steady and you will be able to overcome. No situation should be able to beat us. There are indeed many challenges on our way but we have to also allow the Lord to guide us”


Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Stratcomm Africa, Esther Cobbah said “I will say that values remain constant. It is time that determine how values are projected. Leadership to me, are in the moment. How you lead the moment is what will tell whether you are a leader or not”


“Leadership is not about self. It is a two-sided function and not a position. It is a function that has leaders and followers”


“I think at sometimes, people forget about that. We can never have a leader without followers. Relevance is key. We need to discuss what the times are doing to the values”


She further underscored the importance of examining societal perceptions and challenging stereotypes that portray women as envious rivals.

“I want to encourage women to leverage competition as an opportunity for growth and learning, cautioning against adopting negative behaviors that reinforce harmful stereotypes. It is always believed that women are envious of each other in society"

”Break free from this narrative by welcoming competition as a means of self-improvement rather than a source of enmity. I am urging women to glean valuable lessons from their peers without resorting to imitation or rivalry”


Special Aide to the Flagbearer of the NDC, John Dramani Mahama, Joyce Bawah Mogtari said “Our values has not really much changed. We have probably changed a little because of modernity”


“Maybe we have become more selfish than we used to be or maybe we are not sharing as we used to”


“But I must also be very honest that modernity has given us something interesting. As a female, young and upcoming leader, imagine that we did not have these role models to look up to, who would have showed us the way?”


“We are all born out of these leaders who led us where we are today. It is always a very humbling opportunity to be interacting and even recall some of the reasons why we are who we are”


“So yes, we may not be necessarily holding on unto some of the old cultural values per say but, I think we have changed in so many ways, in some ways for the better; maybe in some ways not so good but ask yourself, what would you rather have”


Managing Director, AFES Consult, Dr. Abena Asumani said “I teach leadership and I have realized that intermittently as I teach the young people, the value system has dramatically changed”


“It has shifted but not to the positive but more to negative; almost to people who do not recognize the toil of our forefathers to get here and even the continuous toil that we all have to uphold to even keep our democracy together”


“It’s been a very worrying time for the country we live in and one of the qualities that has brought me here in my career is volunteerism”


“Many people do not understand that. It is sad that when you ask someone for directions lately, that individual is waiting for you to pay him or her for the assistance”


“Now, we don’t volunteer and give back to the society and that is a worrying trend. If volunteerism is lost totally, then that will be a problem”

Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Kathleen Addy shared some concerns regarding the pervasive competitive mindset prevalent in various sectors of society overshadowing the essence of teamwork.


“The culture of competitiveness, ingrained in early education, has contributed to the erosion of teamwork values"

"If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go with people,”


“Fostering a culture of cooperation is essential for overcoming societal challenges and achieving sustainable progress.

Executive Director of the Ark Foundation, Angela Dwamena-Aboagye, has announced the Foundation’s plans to establish a legacy project.

“At 25 years, one thing I want to do is to put together a legacy project, which is to provide shelter.”

“Women are the core to our survival on this earth.”

She paid homage to Ghanaian luminaries such as Yaa Asantewaa, Esther Ocloo, and Hawa Yakubu, whose remarkable achievements have made history.

 Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith



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