Priority Setting Strategies and Executions for Ghanaian and African CEOs


In the dynamic and rapidly evolving business landscapes of Ghana and Africa, CEOs face unique challenges that require strategic agility and forward-thinking. Setting priorities effectively is crucial for driving sustainable growth, fostering innovation, and ensuring the resilience of organizations. This article delves into the priority-setting strategies and executions employed by Ghanaian and African CEOs, highlighting their approaches to navigating the complexities of the regional and global markets.

Understanding the Context

The African continent, with its rich diversity and vast economic potential, presents both opportunities and challenges for business leaders. Ghana, as one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa, exemplifies this duality. CEOs in this region must address issues such as infrastructural deficits, regulatory hurdles, and socio-political instability, while also leveraging opportunities in emerging markets, technological advancements, and a young, vibrant workforce.

Strategic Priority Setting

1. Visionary Leadership and Long-term Goals

Successful CEOs in Ghana and Africa often start with a clear vision and long-term goals that align with their organization’s mission. This vision provides a roadmap that guides decision-making and priority setting. For instance, Strive Masiyiwa, CEO of Econet, emphasizes a long-term vision of transforming Africa through technology and connectivity, which shapes the strategic priorities of his company. Similarly, Patrick Awuah, founder and president of Ashesi University in Ghana, envisions an African renaissance driven by ethical, entrepreneurial leaders educated at Ashesi. His long-term goal is to expand the university’s impact across the continent. Dr. Daniel McKorley, Group CEO of McDan Group, also exemplifies visionary leadership, with a focus on transforming logistics and aviation in Ghana and beyond. His long-term goals include expanding McDan Group’s footprint across Africa and establishing Ghana as a key logistics hub in the region.

2. Stakeholder Engagement

Effective priority setting involves engaging with key stakeholders, including employees, customers, investors, and the community. This collaborative approach ensures that the priorities reflect the needs and aspirations of those who have a vested interest in the company’s success. Patrick Awuah prioritizes stakeholder engagement to ensure that their strategies are inclusive and comprehensive. Raymond Bismarck, CEO of IZWE Savings and Loans in Ghana, regularly engages with stakeholders to understand their perspectives and align the company’s strategies with their expectations.

3. Market and Competitor Analysis

Understanding the competitive landscape is crucial for setting strategic priorities. CEOs must continuously analyze market trends, competitor strategies, and customer preferences to identify growth opportunities and potential threats. For example, Aliko Dangote of the Dangote Group prioritizes market expansion and diversification based on thorough market research and competitor analysis. In Ghana, Ebenezer Asante, former CEO of MTN Ghana, emphasized understanding the local market dynamics and customer behavior to drive MTN’s growth and maintain its market leadership. George Owusu Ansah, former CEO of Unilever Ghana, is another notable leader who leveraged in-depth market and competitor analysis to maintain Unilever’s competitive edge and expand its market share in Ghana.

4. Innovation and Technology Adoption

Embracing innovation and leveraging technology are key priorities for modern CEOs. In Ghana and Africa, where digital transformation is rapidly unfolding, CEOs prioritize investments in technology to enhance operational efficiency, improve customer experience, and drive growth. Tunde Folawiyo, CEO of Yinka Folawiyo Group, focuses on technological advancements to stay competitive and agile. Albert Essien, former CEO of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, championed the adoption of digital banking solutions to reach unbanked populations and improve financial inclusion. Moses Baiden, CEO of Margins Group in Ghana, is another notable leader who prioritizes innovation, particularly in the fields of secure identity solutions and digital transformation, to propel his company forward.

Execution of Strategic Priorities

1. Resource Allocation

Effective execution of strategic priorities requires prudent allocation of resources, including financial, human, and technological assets. CEOs must ensure that resources are directed towards high-impact areas that align with their strategic goals. This often involves making tough decisions and reallocating resources from underperforming segments to more promising initiatives. For example, Kelvin Doe, CEO of the Rising Academies Network in Ghana, strategically allocates resources to expand educational opportunities and improve learning outcomes across the region. Rayan Sharara, CEO of Orca Decor Ghana, is known for his strategic allocation of resources to optimize operational efficiency and enhance customer satisfaction, ensuring the company remains competitive in the decor industry.

2. Building a High-Performance Culture

A high-performance culture is essential for executing strategic priorities. CEOs must foster an environment that encourages innovation, accountability, and continuous improvement. This involves setting clear performance expectations, providing regular feedback, and recognizing and rewarding high achievers. Fred Swaniker, CEO of the African Leadership Group, emphasizes building a culture of excellence to drive the execution of his organization’s strategic priorities. In Ghana, Nana Kwame Bediako, CEO of Kwarleyz Group, is known for cultivating a high-performance culture that values creativity and innovation. Hayssam Fakhry, CEO of Interplast, also prioritizes building a high-performance culture, emphasizing continuous training, and development to enhance employee capabilities and drive company success.

3. Risk Management and Adaptability

In the volatile business environment of Ghana and Africa, risk management and adaptability are critical for successful execution. CEOs must develop robust risk management frameworks to identify, assess, and mitigate risks. Additionally, they must remain adaptable, ready to pivot their strategies in response to changing circumstances. Njeri Rionge, CEO of Ignite Consulting, highlights the importance of agility in responding to market disruptions and emerging opportunities. Kenneth Thompson, CEO of Dalex Finance in Ghana, emphasizes proactive risk management and adaptability in navigating the financial services sector. Mansa Nettey, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Ghana, exemplifies these qualities by implementing comprehensive risk management practices and maintaining strategic flexibility to adapt to the rapidly changing financial landscape.

4. Performance Monitoring and Evaluation

Continuous monitoring and evaluation of performance are vital for ensuring that strategic priorities are being effectively executed. CEOs must establish key performance indicators (KPIs) and regularly review progress against these metrics. This allows them to identify areas for improvement, make necessary adjustments, and ensure accountability across the organization. Kojo Annan, CEO of Africa10, underscores the importance of rigorous performance monitoring to drive the success of his sports and entertainment ventures in Africa. Julian Opuni, CEO of Fidelity Bank Ghana, is renowned for his meticulous performance monitoring systems that ensure the bank meets its strategic goals and maintains its competitive edge.


The priority-setting strategies and executions of Ghanaian and African CEOs are characterized by visionary leadership, stakeholder engagement, market insight, and a strong emphasis on innovation. By effectively setting and executing strategic priorities, these leaders drive their organizations towards sustainable growth and resilience in the face of regional and global challenges. As the business landscape continues to evolve, the adaptability and strategic acumen of these CEOs will be crucial in navigating the complexities and seizing the opportunities that lie ahead.

Articles from the staples of Chief Ernest De-Graft Egyir.
Ernest De-Graft Egyir is a Consultant and Advisor to CEOs and the Founding Chief Executive Officer of Chief Executives (CEO) Network Ghana Ltd, a specialized CEO-consulting firm. He is also the driving force behind The Ghana CEO Summit, the premier business leadership conference for CEOs, and The Ghana CEO Network, an exclusive business club for top executives in Ghana. Additionally, He champions The Ghana CEO Excellence Award, which celebrates outstanding CEOs and businesses for their excellence, success, innovation, leadership, and economic contributions across various sectors.