Kagame, Uhuru, Obasanjo To Discuss Africa's Leadership Crisis

healing geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>Participants will raise ideas on nurturing visionary African leadership to address leadership deficit and engender trust in policies.

Under the theme, “Leadership for the Africa we Want,” members will as well discuss whether Africa needs effective institutions more than it needs strong leaders.

The discussion comes at a time when the continent is grappling with sectarian and religious strife in South Sudan, Central African Republic, Nigeria, Eastern Congo and Somalia which have led to colossal destruction of lives and property.

Some of the high profile participants expected at today’s conversation include Rwanda Paul Kagame, Gabon’s Ali Bongo Ondimba, Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta and Uganda’s ambassador to Rwanda, Richard Kabonero.

Others are Dr. Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson, African Union Commission and former Presidents Thabo Mbeki and Olusegun Obasanjo.


On Tuesday, Presidents Kagame, Obasanjo and Mbeki concurred that a “failure in leadership” is at the heart of Africa’s unending conflicts.

“If we get the politics right, the governance right, we will probably eliminate a substantial number of conflicts on our continent,” observed Nigeria’s former military leader.

Kagame on Tuesday said, “African leaders, we don’t need to be invited elsewhere to solve our problems.

“It doesn’t make sense that our leaders can’t come together to solve problems and instead fly to western capitals to have their problems solved. African leaders have failed to work together to address conflicts and just travel to Europe to look for photo opportunities.”

Leadership deficit

The World Economic Forum (WEF) report for 2014 identifies two critical leadership problems globally – the first is that there is a leadership deficit, and the second is that there is a lack of trust in policies and programs pursued by leaders.

Officials believe good leadership will be crucial for enabling Africa to exploit the window of opportunity that has opened up in the past decade, notably its natural resource boom.

However, experience indicates that leaders that are resourceful and accountable may be more important “initial conditions” for the development and transformation of their countries than resource abundance per se.

Where leadership has been inadequate, the pace of industrialization and innovation stagnated, and in some cases was reversed, irrespective of the size of the resource base.

In the absence of good leadership, Africa is not expected to reach its global potential.

AfDB officials say leadership should be able to produce domestic consensus or coalitions that ensure that sufficient resources and political attention are key to the goal of economic transformation.

Some prerequisite elements are a capable state; government and private-sector collaboration; a supportive environment for competitiveness; and continuous leveraging and development of the knowledge base.

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