Africa needs a new model of leadership. The political pilgrimage of African government and opposition leaders to Western countries smacks of neocolonial validation. More importantly, it is unrealistic to expect Africa to command the respect of the international community when its leaders are constantly seeking Western validation. No Western politician has ever considered African think tanks as valid platforms to discuss issues that affect their national environment. More than 60 years after colonialism, African leaders and politicians should begin to consciously address the issues that continue to fuel the historical and external manipulation of African domestic affairs for foreign political and economic interests. This is the surest way to promote a world order in which relations between Africa and its global partners are based on mutual respect and the sovereign integrity of nation-states rather than on patronage. New model of leadership for Africa:
Africa needs a new model of leadership
Africa needs a new model of leadership. The political pilgrimage of African government and opposition leaders to Western countries smacks of neocolonial validation. More importantly, it is unrealistic to expect Africa to command the respect of the international community when its leaders are constantly seeking Western validation. No Western politician has ever considered African think tanks as valid platforms to discuss issues that affect their national environment. More than 60 years after colonialism, African leaders and politicians should begin to consciously address the issues that continue to fuel the historical and external manipulation of African domestic affairs for foreign political and economic interests. This is the surest way to promote a world order in which relations between Africa and its global partners are based on mutual respect and the sovereign integrity of nation-states rather than on patronage.
What should it do?
Africa’s development expectations are considerable. To transform Africa socially and economically, it is necessary to reconsider the mode of governance, reinvent leadership, and rethink the training of the continent’s new leaders. Throughout the world today, the complexity of unpredictable phenomena complicates human activity, amplifies the imbalance of economic power and increases inequalities. More than ever, Africa is at a crossroads. What should it do? Of course, it has great natural resources: minerals, energy, and agriculture. It also has the youngest and most numerous population in the world. Nevertheless, it continues to suffer from a leadership crisis.
This prevents it from effectively exploiting and managing its abundant resources while using them efficiently to improve the lives of millions of its inhabitants and achieve development goals. Today, our continent is at a strategic moment in its history. The global health crisis has exacerbated the already multiple and far-reaching challenges, including economic and social threats. Change is causing disasters with increasing frequency.
Armed conflicts, detrimental to peace and security, are not decreasing. There is even a resurgence of an evil thought to have disappeared: the coup d’état. To meet all these challenges, Africa needs to develop its leadership. This leadership will need to support good governance, influence its own development, unlock its economic emergence, and facilitate the achievement of inclusive and sustainable economic growth to meet the goals of Agendas 2030 and 2063.
New leaders to achieve the goals of Agenda 2063
The vision of Agenda 2063 is to have an “integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, led by its own citizens that is a dynamic force on the world stage. Implementing this agenda as well as the sustainable development agenda (2030) involves transformations on multiple levels, including building a vision, defining roles, reorganizing structures, building networks, establishing relationships, and also continuously improving human capital.
African leaders have committed to accelerate the continent’s growth, development and prosperity by 2063. They have adopted several initiatives to support the realization of this agenda. These initiatives provide an opportunity to question the purposes and modes of operation and governance models of institutions. They call for the invention of new ways of doing and thinking. Africa must redefine its priorities.
Leadership is, therefore, an urgent and essential component to achieve these goals. A new leadership, based on a modern vision of the role of leaders, professionals, citizens and partners, as well as on the purpose of organizations, is needed to accelerate and strengthen structural transformation. This will be achieved through regional integration, productive transformation, skills enhancement, and the promotion of innovation and technology.
Developmental and transformational leadership is needed in this era of change to ensure and maintain a high level of commitment. Effort from all sectors is needed, but competent, participatory, accountable, and innovative states and institutions are paramount. New model of leadership for Africa!
What new leadership for Africa?
Development issues in Africa are too complex and confusing to be addressed by traditional cannot be addressed by traditional leadership. The quality of leaders is one of the major issues in the major challenges in the economic emergence of African countries, which are obliged to think about a new generation of leaders, men and women capable of meeting the men and women capable of meeting the real economic, geopolitical, social and environmental challenges environmental challenges that all African countries are facing.
The continent needs a new kind of leadership at the top of governments, institutions, businesses and civil society. A new leadership, endowed with legitimacy first, a catalyst for structural development, capable of initiating the transformation of the continent in all areas: socio-economic, political, environmental, and technological. A leadership that takes up the challenges of food security, population growth, sustainable development and social services, which are, above all, education, health, access to water and sanitation.
Courage for Africa
Africa also needs new leadership that is ready to face the demands of the contemporary world and has the courage to world and with the courage to move Africa away from its heavy dependence on dependence on commodity exports, and with the skills to build and reinvent skills to build and reinvent the continent in a time of complex, dynamic, and unpredictable change. dynamic and unpredictable change. It needs leaders who are aware that that the levers of wealth are in education and institutions, that true wealth goes beyond that true wealth goes beyond mineral and energy resources, but that it comes through work that that the real wealth goes beyond mining and energy resources, but through work that gradually generates capital produced by the quality of human capital and institutions.
Africans also need a leadership that on the one hand appeals more to long-term intrinsic intrinsic long-term needs and less on extrinsic short-term demand, and on the other hand, believes fundamentally in collective intelligence, both technical and emotional, but also emotional intelligence.
More than anything else, Africa expects its leadership to proudly show its proudly show its African identity, which is a bearer of values and meaning, in order to accelerate an economic development, which will have a positive impact on the whole society.
African youth, engine of development and transformation
Africa is rich in its women and men, its youth being the future of the continent. It is essential to invest massively in their scientific and technological education. Investment in education and youth is the best way to change the development paradigm in the continent. There are millions of untapped opportunities in Africa for socio-economic development and improvement of the well-being of its people. It is therefore important that Africa has leaders who can liberate the youth to dare to spread the wings of their creative imagination.
Their formidable genius will then contribute to the construction of a better Africa, the Africa we want. It is up to the leaders to mobilize the youth to promote sustainable lifestyles and a sustainable future. They will also have to teach them to combine thought and action, to be open to movement, to innovation and to the encounter of meaning. Given the right conditions, African youth will play a vital role in creating and promoting influential policies, innovative solutions, and sustainable models for inclusive development. Providing them with the necessary means to realize their projects is of paramount importance today. We must facilitate exchanges at the community, national and continental levels.
Youth for Africa
Providing youth with the channels, resources, and modalities of expression and action best suited to better engagement should be a government priority in Africa. To be developmental and transformational, African leadership must take on societal responsibility, draw from the rich history of the continent, and rediscover the qualities buried in African culture in order to rethink the concept of development. Placing Africans at the center of their vision and action, such leaders will act competently to restore Africa to its rightful place in the competition imposed by new global ecosystem paradigms.
Author: Fatima Arib (Director of the National School of Business and Management (ENCG) Marrakech, Cadi Ayyad University – Morocco, Expert in sustainable development)