Africa has been one of the few blessed continents, a territory garnished with the necessary in natural resources. Ranging from crude oil to Bitumen, gold and uncountable others. The system had been thriving for decades, with a resoundingly sound history as opposed to the opinion of Prof. Hugh Trevor Roper, who posited in one of his lectures that Africa doesn’t have history but sheer darkness. He proceeded by saying darkness isn’t a topic in history.
Thoroughbred Philosophers, thinkers and Historians have come to say this opinion of Prof. Hugh Trevor Roper is defective, not even when Africa has history and that of civilization at that. That history was not given to the Africans by the Europeans. Nile river contributed in no small measure to the history of Africans, not even when it was said to have facilitated civilization. There used to be orderly arrangements in governance, family and communities before the advent of the Europeans.
The only issue with Africa and which this paper is expected to explore is the issue relating to sorting the best style of leadership. A style of leadership that can successfully galvanize, salvage the naturally endowed resources evident in the African continent. This style of leadership should be across board.
Chinua Achebe while talking about his country, Nigeria, cited leadership as her main problem. Nigeria apart from being the Giant of Africa has also clinched the most populous African nation, most especially with a population of over 250 million people. This country had been going through the toughest of times; it had been in a trilemma of recession, insurgency and banditry. The whole thing can be said to have bordered down on the porous leadership of the incumbent president, who seem not to be aware of the intricacies of leadership. The latest of his actions and that triggered a nationwide protest was his traveling to Britain for health care when he could have built a well equipped hospital in Nigeria. There is a tendency for the break up of this country, not even when the component units just started clamouring secession.
Similar issues apply with Uganda(which just lost an opportunity to change, constitutionally a life president), and Ghana( formerly Gold Coast), an underdeveloped country. South Africa is still grappling with the sores of war, crafted via the instrumentality of the Apartheid. The latest was the Xenophobic attack(a resultant effect of the less or no access of the South Africans to job opportunities). These, and many others are the issues with the African continent.
The pertinent question at this point is what leadership do we want for the Africa of our dream, what solution are we suggesting to heal its wounds?
U.S. academic environment define leadership as “a process of social influence in which a person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task”. It can as well mean the deliberate efforts directed to effecting a change and that would pervade every society positively. A few intelligentsias have seen a revolution as the precursor to good leadership, what equally comes to mind on talking about a revolution is Thomas Sankara’s, whose revolution as coup was said to have been unanimously facilitated and deemed to be legitimate by the Burkinabes(the incorruptible people). This youth of age 33, was said to have brought so many innovations on board: planted 10 million trees, stopped polygamy and female genital mutilation, he introduced the massive vaccination against measles, Yellow Fever and others, during his time. Sankara’s leadership was said to have dethroned the middle-class tribal lords, renamed the country from colonial Upper Volta to Burkina Faso, established schools including a massive literacy campaign. I want to state at this point, that whatever would qualify for leadership in Africa must definitely convey all these. There is also a need for a revolution in the existing system, it might not need to be bloody before it is a revolution. There need be a revolution in the existing leadership and for a better leadership to thrive.
Africans are brilliant, hardworking, intelligent and skillful. The leadership of the system must be able to create the interest of the citizens in the country, with fascinating policies, infrastructures, job opportunities and strides. Brain drain has not assisted Africa in any way except if it kills it. The best use of the available resources would go a long way in making all these realities.
The leadership we need in Africa is not the perpetual one, there must be constant elections at the termination of most of these tenure of offices, without prepared citizens being scared of entering into the leadership of their countries. The inhuman and inhumane treatment of Bobi Wine would never have occurred if there had been good leadership in Uganda.
A good leadership allows justice to flow like waters. It encourages fair trials, obeys court orders and reforms convicted prisoners instead of breaking or making them miserable. That is what we need in Africa as leadership.
Organizations like OAU, AU, must stand to their responsibilities of introducing or recommending innovations to most of these African countries. They must ensure a cordial and progressive relationship among the countries(to prevent intra African wars), the naturally endowed resources evident in these countries should be administered the best possible ways by the different governments of the countries. They should be used in setting the pace for the development of each of these countries and Africa as a whole other than other countries outside the continent.
The leadership we need for the Africa of our dream to thrive is personal turn collectively shared one. The one that would eradicate corruption, misappropriation of funds by public officials, including the tardiness of these officials with their duties. Seminars, conferences and conventions must be convened, to address topical African issues and by officials from each of the countries under Africa.
The leadership we need is the one that would nurse the disease of religious fanatism rife in the African continent, we can’t just afford to be slaves to religion when we could have done exploits as citizens.
Conclusively, the best of leadership is what we need to sustain the Africa of our dream. The best of leadership would explore most of the aforementioned values, it would bring development and make it a giant.