THE BLOG

The Leadership Deficit In Africa Is Stunting Development

Africa is highly anaemic of leadership that understand where it is coming from and where it is going.

04/09/2017 03:59 SAST | Updated 04/09/2017 06:42 SAST
Siphiwe Sibeko/ Reuters
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe (L) gestures as South Africa's President Jacob Zuma looks on at the end of a press briefing at the Union building in Pretoria, April 8, 2015.

Happenings in Africa for over four decades point to the fact that Africa is highly anaemic of leadership that understand where it is coming from and where it is going. It is very evidential that the leaders that stood out for the last lap of the liberation and independence struggle for Africa from the 1940s to the late 60s are in a sharp contrast from what we have had for the last three decades. The era of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba, Kenneth Kaunda, Jomo Kenyatta, Nnamdi Azikwa, Abdul Gamel Nasser, Thomas Sankara, Sekuo Toure etc. appears to be the best season of African visionary leadership.

It is so amazing that as we speak there isn't a model of an election on the continent that has no characterisation of pockets of violence, inducement and counter allegation of rigging. Most African nations are mates of Singapore in the matter of independence and development but sadly we are far behind them now. In this 21st century, we cannot boast of three nations that went to the polls where no sign of intimidation and violence was reported.

Corruption has become so endemic that it must be declared as a pandemic crisis. Corruption is stealing development from Africans more than HIV/AIDS and malaria claim lives. Politics has become the common grounds to amass wealth and it has become so attractive and rewarding that people enter politics and in a year their lives are totally transformed.

The situations that test a people have fallen across the continent and we have always been found wanting.

Africa is in a deficit of leadership to propel her into the era of great development and growth. Not long ago President Jacob Zuma went through a process of the vote of no confidence and it wasn't the first time. The rate of this intention alone tells us that all is not well, though it is one way of testing democratic maturity.

Sierra Leone and Congo have suffered severe landslide and scores of lives have been lost but African media and its allies couldn't make it a trending issue. The AU and various blocs could not respond swiftly. At the same time, Italy has suffered a bomb attack that claimed 13 lives but that was trending across the world. If the African does not tell its story and solve its problems no one from outside will do it.

Aid for these affected countries has not been forthcoming, and this is one clear evidence that leadership that stood with each other for their independence and liberation belongs to an era long gone. The situations that test a people have fallen across the continent and we have always been found wanting.

Burkina Faso and Mali are at the mercy of consistent terrorist insurgencies and Togo is also almost at the verge of breakdown as citizens are up in arms.

The future is struggling for light at the end of the tunnel.

Hunger and outbreak of diseases have entrenched themselves in a continent where arable land is in abundance. A continent where mineral wealth and oil are in abundance. Singapore cannot boast of the mineral wealth of a single nation in Africa but our biggest bane is visionary leadership.

To hide their merciless agenda they ply politics of tribal and elitist propaganda. Politicians' number one cliche in politics is fighting against corruption but it appears they are all in the same act albeit with different political appearance.

When would we have leaders like of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba, Kenneth Kaunda, Jomo Kenyatta, Nnamdi Azikwa, Abdul Gamel Nasser, Thomas Sankara, Sekuo Toure, Nelson Mandela, etc. again? The future is struggling for light at the end of the tunnel.