Kow Abaka Essuman, legal counsel to President Akufo-Addo, has shared his political journey and the valuable lessons he has learned along the way in an interview with Apolitical Foundation.
Despite not having politics on his radar as a career choice growing up, Essuman’s interests shifted towards the governance of Ghana while pursuing an LLM degree at Cornell University, New York.
He took on the challenge of managing social media campaigns for the opposition political party and leader, now the President of Ghana, and eventually became the president’s legal counsel.
In the interview, Essuman shared the most useful lessons he has learned while working with the President, describing the experience as equivalent to an honours degree from the University of People.
He emphasised the importance of treating each matter with the weight it deserves, consulting broadly, and crafting laws, policies, and programmes with clarity. Essuman believes that politics has the potential to be a powerful tool for national development when practiced with courage, ethics, and trustworthiness.
To get courageous, ethical, and trusted politicians in the area, Essuman suggested changing the perception of politics from a game of personal gain to one of national development, celebrating and rewarding politicians who demonstrate these qualities, and holding corrupt politicians accountable for their actions.
He also emphasized the need for prioritizing mentoring and coaching for individuals interested in pursuing a career in politics.
At the moment, Essuman is inspired by the prospect of reforming Ghana’s economy to make it sustainable and diversified, ultimately drawing significant investment to meet trade demands.
He also believes that God has given each person a purpose in the world, and each person must fulfill that purpose, inspiring others to persevere through current challenges.
Essuman wants communities to tell the story of the diligent politicians who work tirelessly to improve the lives of their constituents. He believes that their hard work often goes unnoticed, and it is crucial to provide hope and encouragement and reflect on the successes achieved together.
The story Essuman wants communities to tell about their politicians is one of perseverance, dedication, and a commitment to effect positive change.