AFRICA'S URGENT NEED FOR LEADERSHIP

Most of Africa’s challenges can be traced to ineffective, defective or all-together absent leadership.  The inability to see leadership as a development imperative – the key ingredient to an Africa that works for everyone – has obscured the real solution to Africa’s numerous challenges.

Albert Einstein is widely credited with saying that “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”  If leadership is about results, then we urgently need a new model of leadership in Africa. We can’t continue on the current trajectory and expect different results.

There are many reasons for this sad state of affairs, but the former President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Dr. Kanayo Nwanze attributes Africa’s agricultural challenges to leadership.

A report by the New Economic Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) points out that “feeding 1.5 billion people by 2030 and 2 billion by 2050 is the daunting challenge that Africa intends to meet.” Without a new model of leadership, this will remain a pipe dream.

The key to an Africa that works for everyone is leadership.  The Africa Leadership Transformation (ALT) Foundation believes that most of Africa’s challenges can be traced to ineffective, defective or all-together absent leadershipThe inability to see leadership as a development imperative – the key ingredient to an Africa that works for everyone – has obscured the real solution to Africa’s numerous challenges.

Like everywhere else, when things don’t work, Africans swing into action, searching for solutions.  How you define the problem – and the solution – could make things worse.  A problem/solution mis-match could create an even bigger problem.  The problem could mutate, demanding new solutions or more resources.

That seems to be what has been happening in Africa.  Using the agricultural sector for example, problem/solution mismatch has identified lack of sufficient funding, or the need for better seeds, better functioning markets or a defective or non-existent policy as the solution.  The issue of leadership, the right kind of leadership, has rarely featured in discussions about Africa’s ailing agricultural sector.  Could it be that the patient has been receiving the wrong medicine?

The ALT Foundation is prescribing a new model of leadership that has been tested and tried.  During the past 15 years, scholars of leadership and finance have developed and delivered the course Being a Leader & the Effective Exercise of Leadership: An Ontological/Phenomenological Model.

The course is a “live product” and still in continuous development.  The reason for this is that it views leadership as a mountain without a summit.  The course employs an ontological model and a phenomenological method.  The course makes a bold promise to those who participate: “You will leave this course being a leader and exercising leadership effectively as your natural self-expression.” We believe this is the antidote to Africa’s leadership challenge.

Percentage of population in agriculture

Total population
Africa – 80% 1 billion
Brazil – 6% 200 million
Netherlands – 1.5% 17 million
Former President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Dr. Kanayo Nwanze (above) attributes Africa’s agricultural challenges to leadership.