I have observed that there is room to allow dialogue around a refined perspective that could revolutionise African systems of leadership. The current trends of leadership portray lapses in resource management and neo-colonialism whose adverse effects manifest as disunity among people, physical fighting, misuse and mismanagement of resources, illiteracy and Insecurity.
Our continent has enough natural resource to go around, however we have given room to selfishness and allowed complexes such as corruption to take root. We fight each other because we fail to realise that we are different but equally valuable. The opinions and ideas of the other ought to matter, ought to be heard and if good enough ought to be given wings. The stronger must be able to give the right hand of fellowship and negotiation towards peace and win over others to practice the same.
For our democracies to be satisfactory, they need to be created that way. But it is not just the responsibility of the policymakers. We are all leaders through being stakeholders in the maintenance of peace and security. Leaders undoubtedly carry the vision for change however we forget that leadership is as much about the leader as it is about those being led.
As a leader, today, my first assignment is to consider those that I am leading. I must also review the structures that give me power. The constitution is more powerful than I am, the judiciary, executive and legislature co-govern, and thus I am never leader supreme.
These structures spell out my power and if I do not follow them, like a rebel I am not leading but managing. People are not to be managed. People are the one resource that cannot be managed. People are to be led orderly, coherently, consistently, progressively and most importantly equally.
I sincerely believe in a united thriving Africa. I believe if Africans can practically apply what is learned through education and the world around us we can harness the technology and resources we already have for sustainable peace and development.
As leader, I must be accountable to those I lead because I am only a trustee and I must not abuse this honour. I must educate my people. Education allows us to reason, choose and to act wisely. I must spend more resources on education, skills and literacy programs. When we teach, we must teach ubuntu, and not Individual success; we must teach national unity and not allegiance to the leader supreme, we must teach efficient resource management and not plunder for self-gain. The earth cannot heal itself.
The burden of leadership must be taken as a privilege to echo the voices of the voiceless, and give strength to the weary and seed to the sower. We may be flawed creatures, with ‘me’ ideals but the ‘divide and rule’ system must not over take us, it will not create the Africa we hope for, even for the few. We have not failed to govern ourselves. Leaders can still provide a sense of peace and hope for the better. Something good lies in Africa, otherwise men of times passed, with wealth and prime would not have journeyed so far in conquest, risking their lives and property in search of this valuable beauty painted with minerals and agricultural resource across every mile.
Featured image | Africa map | flickr
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Best of Africa.
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