Leadership for the Africa We Want: Sustainable development


Often the developed countries, International bodies such as IMF and World Bank, and sometimes development professional tend to reflect the notion that they ‘know’ what Africa (or developing countries)need to be able to push forward with development. This article raises some interesting issues concerning African countries’ development.

At the 2014 African Development Bank Annual Meeting, attended by African Statesmen (past and present), as well as Civic Society, South Africa’s former President, Thabo Mbeki, pointed out that what Africa wanted was:
1. Africa free of violent conflict and war
2. Africa free of poverty
3. Africa free from corruption
4. Africa driven by women emancipation
5. Self-assessment of performance by the African leaders

Former President of Tanzania, Benjamin Mkapa added that Africa wanted:
1. Equality of gender
2. Equality of opportunity
3. A promise of good, healthy life
4. Good education
5. Unselfish leadership

Both leaders and the Rwandan president, Paul Kagame, agreed that African leaders were selfish, with some attaining power for the sake of enriching themselves. However, although there is existence an African Peer Review mechanism, the leaders concur that there is a culture of fear of rebuking each other and telling them where they were going wrong. As a result of these weaknesses, (according to them), the continent which is the richest in natural resources continues to be exploited by the developed countries for their own benefit.

It follows that African leaders know what they ‘want’ and not necessarily what we think they ‘need’. The question is “How can they be helped to achieve their objectives?”




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