Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Africa Needs Ethical Leadership

By Mamadou Edrisa Njie
Just back from Dakar

Marie Angelique SAVANE, Sociologist and International Consultant, has said that Africa needs ethical leaders who are accountable to their citizens for sustainable development to be effective. She was speaking in an interview with our editorial assistant in Mbour – Senegal at the first national session of the LEAD Africa Fellowship training programme organized by the LEAD Francophone Africa Regional Programme Office.

LEAD Africa is part of the global LEAD network whose common mission is to inspire leadership and charge for a sustainable world. Africa hosts three Regional offices in Malawi for Eastern and Southern Africa, in Nigeria for Anglophone West Africa and in Senegal for Francophone Africa. The LEAD Africa fellowship Program (LAFP) builds on more than a decade of experience in knowledge management and training, particularly pertaining to issues of leadership, environment and sustainable development.
Its main objectives is to galvanize the emergence of leadership capacity in Africa, and to foster in potential leaders a greater sensitivity and responsiveness to environment and sustainability issues.

According to Madame SAVANE, African leaders need to be accountable to their people adding that good leaders hold onto the principle of good governance. She stated that today in Africa, many leaders lack ethical leadership and are sit-tight leaders who for the most part are not serving their countries and bringing the desired development. Meanwhile, every citizen has a right, and these rights have to be respected. Respecting the rights of citizens, she said includes the right to education, access to health facilities and social services as it were.

Dwelling on the past, she said that Africa was divided by colonialism which has caused many problems in the past: “We are all one people”, saying that The Gambia and Senegal share the boundary, tribe, language and culture but were divided by the west.

In Cassamance, where I was born she continued, I have relatives in The Gambia as well as some Gambians also having relatives in Cassamance. The Gambia and Senegal, she noted shared the same traditional values while calling on LEAD associates to come together to make the desired change in Africa.

On good governance, Madam SAVANE pointed out that African leaders need to have institutions and laws are compatible to the international standards noting that the institutions need to create conducive environment for sustainable development. The LAFP training she maintains, aims to enhance the capacities of young Africans across professions and cultures to build a network of a like-minded critical masse to bring effective change in Africa. She advised the Associates to become veritable change agents.

This year’s Cohort 17 will be made up of around sixty young leaders drawn from different sectors of society (private, public, non-governmental etc) from The Gambia and Senegal. Chad and Malawi are also training sixty others who will all converge in Malawi in September 2012 for the Pan-African training session.

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