A series by Trevor Ncube — Part 5 — Africa Rising

Sara Drawwater
11 June 2013
Our continent should not be run like a classroom in rural Matebeleland, by petty tyrants who scorn their own people. All of us who have experienced the pain of being treated as subjects — ugly,…

The need for a united frontOur continent should not be run like a classroom in rural Matebeleland, by petty tyrants who scorn their own people. All of us who have experienced the pain of being treated as subjects — ugly, stupid, faces turned to the wall — must learn to harness that education to deliver a different kind of leadership.

We live in a complex and uncertain word and we need all hands on the deck if we are to be competitive and seize Africa’s promise. Indeed as Warren Bennis says; “The days when a single individual, however gifted, can solve our problems, are long gone.” This is true for government, corporates and civil society. Any approach that excludes a group of citizens or certain people in any organisation on the grounds of age, sex ethnicity, politics religion etc is unwise and hence doomed to fail.

The leadership’s roleAfrica political leadership must harness the talent of all citizens through inclusive education policies that provide an incentive for teachers, learners and for the private sector to play its role in the provision of education. African governments must lead in providing health infrastructure and health workers and create an enabling environment for the private sector to be a partner in the provision of health facilities.

The role of leadership is to widen the possibility of opportunities. Africa is not short of passionate and talented people. We have a leadership deficit that is frustrating the creativity and talents of its citizens.

In this context it is instructive to bear in mind that Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook have not been accidents. They are the products of an environment that values and nature’s dreamers and innovation. Such an environment encourages competition and offers incentive for the best ideas in all spheres of life. Its time Africa had a leader that brings out the best in all us. Technology also has a certain equalising effect and we must take full advantages of it to move ahead.

Lastly we need to fix our politics. Almost 60 years after the end of colonialism our politics is so primitive and sometimes downright childish. Our continent cries out for visionary, principle and selfless statesmen who are intent on building powerful nations.

Our politics have become synonymous with corruption, nepotism and poor management. All these weigh down our capacity to be productive and stunts the appointment of key people for policy formulation and management of our nation institutions. Corruption is also a tax on business and robs our children of resources and opportunities.

The right kind of leadership

  • A leadership that empowers each citizens and allow each person to contribute to nation building.
  • A leadership that is tolerant to the multiplicity of ideas that are the hallmark of vibrate societies
  • A leadership that cherishes and defends the fundamental rights of every individual including minorities

The African dreamAfrica is rising. We must seize the huge promise that Africa offers. Africa has caught the world’s attention and its imagination. Let this be not a false start. For this promise to be realised, us as citizens have to play our part in building democratic constitutions, we owe this ourselves. I want Maya’s generation to experience the Africa Dream and not the American Dream. I don’t want Maya’s generation to experience an up bringing similar to mine.

Final RemarksMine has been an unconventional life. I have stumbled into opportunity by God’s grace. There are many with similar stories and many more that have been less fortunate.

I am passionate about Africa because it’s the only home I have. I hope we turn Africa’s promise into a reality in our time to be fully enjoyed by the next generation. My story is an illustration of how bad leadership can stunt potential, and the grace of great leadership can help it blossom and how small interventions can cascade into big ones.

Thank you.

This post is part of a series:Introductionpart 1: Rural Beginningspart 2: City Beginningspart 3: Journalismpart 4: The Future**part 5: Africa Rising