Current African leadership can’t develop continent

Our lead story today is an account from the yesterday opening session of the two-day 7th African Leadership Forum underway in Accra.

The theme of the ongoing event, “Promoting Intra-Af­rica trade to unlock agricul­tural potential in Africa”, suggests that it is focused on investment in agriculture development, adding value to agriculture produce and en­hancing particularly intra-Af­rican trade.

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).is then expected to help change for the better the goings-on in both the agriculture and trade sectors on the conti­nent.

Our story presents con­tributions made by three prominent personalities at the event, namely Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Ghana’s President; Dr Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, former president of Tanzania; and Mr Wamkele Mene, Secretary General of AfCFTA.

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All these speakers, as expected, talked about the potential of agriculture and trade to help develop the African continent.

Reading their various con­tributions, you would agree that African leaders know the problems confronting Africa and how to solve them. (Kindly read our lead story).

We think so because this is the 7th edition of such meetings under African Leadership Forum, said to have been founded by former President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria in 1988.

A source states that the Af­rica Leadership Forum (ALF) grew out of the need to as­sist in improving the capacity and competence of African leaders to tackle development challenges confronting the continent.

That the establishment of the Forum was not for­tuitous (by chance) but in response to a number of pressing challenges facing post-independence Africa, such as the wide-spread and palpable crises of leadership and management across the continent.

We know the forum organ­ises a wide range of high-lev­el conferences, seminars, workshops and publications to address the quest for effective leadership, efficient management and enhance­ment of leadership skills on the continent.

We think some Africans like General Obasanjo have good intentions toward the development of Africa.

There is, for example, the account of how Mr Paul Kagame of Rwanda is de­veloping his country and we have not forgotten how some other African leaders, includ­ing the late John Magufuli of Tanzania, were and still are checking the self-centredness, extravagance and opulence of politicians and other public officials, who also are African leaders in their own right.

The over-riding problem of Africa has to do with its leaders and their corrupt ways of life and their excuse that their leadership roles allow them to enjoy all the goodies on the continent without regard or just the slightest of it for the suffer­ings of the vulnerable.

For how long has the Afri­can Leadership Forum been in existence?

What are its achievements? We accept all its efforts by way of seminars, workshops and other training sessions, but have they forcefully and positively impacted African leadership, especially the political?

We can say for sure that nothing would change on the continent for the better if African political leaders hold on to all the negative attitudes of theirs, with their cohorts following them.

Africa needs resolute, as­sertive, selfless, incorruptible, sensitive-to-the-vulnerable leaders to develop it.

Maybe the Africa Leader­ship Forum needs to initiate a programme to do peer review of leadership perfor­mance to call African leaders to order, otherwise it can organise countless events to no avail.

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