GHANA ALUMNI ONLINE REUNION
A Word from Daniel Kamanga, the Executive Director, ALT Foundation
It gives me great pleasure to invite each one of you, the Ghana alumni of the Being a Leader & the Effective Exercise of Leadership: An Ontological/Phenomenological Model to the Online Reunion on Thursday, 25 June 2020.
Since we were last together, the world has changed in a way that none of us could have imagined. This makes the course at the Kwame Nkurumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) even more special. It’s as if we were all preparing for what has been, and continues to unfold.
Stories of fear, pain, misery, anxiety and loss regarding COVID-19 abound. There may be no need to focus on that at the moment. Rather, I would like to share with you how the ALT Foundation has managed through this period. Like most of you, we left Ghana in high spirits, encouraged by what we had achieved together. Having worked so hard, my personal plan was to take a short break and then swing back into action. March was all planned; we were doing everything to dust the proposals and reach out to potential supporters of this transformative leadership work in Africa. Then COVID-19 happened. I thought this “annoying interruption” would soon be resolved, so we can all get back to our lives. When the World Health Organization (WHO) announced COVID-19 as a pandemic, it became clear this was not a passing cloud. The news and images from Italy and Spain confirmed we were in this thing for the long haul.
For the ALT Foundation, this meant that planning for a second training in 2020 was off the charts. I had been in touch with some of the faculty members, engaging in “conversations of possibility,” but COVID-19 was painting a totally different picture. Some of the reports indicated that the airline industry would take 18 to 24 months to be fully operational. Even more grim reports indicated that only half of the current planes would ever fly again. The ones that fly would need to be reconfigured…
We are still trying to make sense of all these. Our already always certain future has never been more uncertain. This was a cause of concern for me, and I began to look at the work of the ALT Foundation and ask questions. Is it still possible to reach a million people with transformative leadership education? How would we continue to build the capacity of Africa faculty members to become instructors? How would we get to the initial 10 African countries, given the challenges facing the airline industry?
I am glad to say that things are not as bad as they looked before. Using the toolbox given to us by the course instructors, I have been able to deal with “what’s so.” I also began to explore whether this season was not actually a gift; an opportunity to reboot, to re-look at everything.
It has been shocking to realize that I had been working with a context “given to me” by COVID -19. I’ve now moved from the default context to a created context. With the support of many people keen to see this work established in Africa, the ALT Foundation has created a new future. I look forward to sharing more with you. Even more important, I look forward to hearing and learning from you during the reunion.