IN THE ERA OF MISSING CERTIFICATES ………. Many of our so called ‘Big Men’ are Using Fake Certificates

Certificates have become the fastest growing form of a universally acceptable credential awarded to an individual or organization since time immemorial. They are awarded by public institutions or private schools upon completion of a study of a course or a program. The number of graduates with certificates has skyrocketed over the past 50 years, even though few of our leaders appear to be concern about this phenomenon of certification. Certificates hold tremendous promise for expanding the national skilled workforce and are becoming more popular for a variety of reasons;
• Certificate holders can move quickly from the classroom to the workforce. That explains why there are an increasing number of certificates being awarded every year in the country.
• Many people usually continuous to upgrade their level of education, even though the cost of education is going through the roof.
• Education is one of the greatest leveler, certificates affords individuals to secure good jobs and better their life on this earth.
• When advance skills are the requisite for employment in a knowledge – based economy like Ghana, certificates are a stepping stone for employment.
Certificate can also offer the bearer a jump-start into the labor market for the numerous young Ghanaians now unemployed or underemployed
It is important however, to note that not all certificates are of equal value when it comes to earning power and opportunities available in the system. The values are mostly tied to how you play your cards. Again, certificates are therefore a requirement by law before one can be allowed to perform a certain task or job.
In Ghana, professional groupings or organizations issue certificates under the supervision of state agencies. The assessment processes for some institutions is very identical or even the same as it is kwon as licensure. The mode of issuing the certificate can only differ in terms of legal status associated with it. On the other hand, the process can be quite different and more comprehensive than that of the other.
The problem of certification in Ghana today is that, they are rarely counted in government education reports. That must have accounted for the numerous fraudulent certificates in the system. I sincerely think it is important for the government to take a second look at creating a data base for certificates of various categories offered to the public each year, to enable a check of people manufacturing their own certificates. Most of the fraudsters are from the backyards of the so called elites in the system. While the ordinary citizen is being scrutinized everywhere to authenticate the genuineness of his/her certificate, these people are only being employed by merely presenting their faces. Meanwhile, these same people are those in the most lucrative jobs in this country.
One can boldly say that there are many of the most highly respected people in this country when seriously scrutinized would reveal that their proof of certification is fictitious. The strategy adopted by these crooks is to travel outside the country for some few years and return with a big certificate claiming that they actually earned it from a recognized institution over there. By virtue of the country’s weak institutional structures, they will sail through and get themselves employed. This is very common in the public and civil service of Ghana.
Here in Ghana, every lawyer is a certified specialist that has the recognition of an independent professional organization as having an enhanced level of skill and expertise including substantial involvement in an established specialty. The Ghana law school requires a qualified lawyer to demonstrate special training, experience and knowledge to ensure that the lawyer’s recognition as a certified specialist is meaningful and reliable. This special certification is regulated by the state and a special program is supposed to be undertaken by each qualified lawyer for period of two years at the Ghana law school.
Again, the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) is a recognized organization that provides a rigorous assessment of all its members before accepting them to be part of that group. If a distinguish personality like the 2012 presidential candidate of the NPP Nana Akufo Addo whose father was once the head of state of Ghana could claimed openly that his certificate is lost, it actually beats my imagination. I believed sincerely that this man is running away from the truth. It is my firm belief that this man never attended any law school abroad. He must have served as a trainee in a law firm in France, and back in Ghana he decided to use his usual tricks to bulldoze his way through to get recognition from the Ghana Bar Association (GBA)
Otherwise, why can’t he even make the following available to save his image?
• School index number (the institution he actually pursued the law program abroad)
• Identify of some of his classmates if they are still around or dead
After all he is neither the first nor the last to practice a profession in Ghana without the requisite qualification. People are arrested every now and then for claiming to be Medical doctors and have actually practiced for several years. It may not be only fake medical doctors that are in the system, but also fake Lawyers as well.
If the system intends to prove that it is actually fair to all citizens, then everybody should be subject to the same scrutiny as far as certification is concerned. Every prominent personality including Nana Akufo Addo should be ready to make issues in relation to their qualifications public. After all we know them all, especially majority of all those who are making a lot of noise on the airwaves every day.
In this era of modernity and advancements in science and technology, how can one be convince with some of this their cock and bull stories? The son of a former head of state with all the sophisticated facilities for safekeeping of important and valuable item, Nana Akufo Addo can shamefully say that his certificate is missing. Yet he is desperately struggling to be the president of this country, even when he cannot convince Ghanaians that he is not a fake lawyer.
Only time will tell.
Carlos Dawda is a political consultant in Accra – Ghana.
A Product of KNUST and UG- Legon

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