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Expert Blames Bad Leadership For Africa’s Woes

Kayode Adelowokan, Lagos

A Ghanian political analyst, Nana Akufo-Addo, has blamed many of the problems of Africa today on the hangover of colonialism, maintaining that there is need to also accept that Africa’s failures are largely the result of the failure of its leadership.

Ghanian political analyst, Nana Akufo-Addo

Ghanian political analyst, Nana Akufo-Addo

Akufo-Addo who was speaking on Tuesday during the 2014 edition of Verdant Zeal innovention series 3 with the theme: growing leadership innovation – lessons for Africa and the occasion which marked the 50 years birthday of Group Managing Director, Verdant Zeal, Tunji Olugbodi in Lagos.

The frontline politician and statesman of Ghana, also said for over fifty years that most African countries have attained her political independence, the hopes for prosperity and attaining a proper place among the comity of nations remain unfulfilled.

He said, “The long years of military adventurism in our politics have not helped; the belief that there are short cuts to finding solutions to our problems have certainly not helped either. It is a great relief that finally a consensus has emerged that the best way to govern ourselves is through multi-party democratic governance.

“The challenge that we face now is to make democratic governance deliver on the promise of prosperity and individual freedoms. That is the only way to ensure that the peoples of Africa have a stake in their governments. The bigger challenge is to be able to adapt to the constantly changing world and find solutions to the problems that come with the new world economic order and our increasing populations.”

To attain the Africa of our dream, Nana Akufo-Addo, therefore suggest that Nigeria must provide the leadership. “Nigeria must provide the political leadership and passion to translate the ECOWAS dream into reality. You have the numbers, you have the economic muscle and, dare I say that, you owe it to the region”, he added.

“In the same vein, Ghana and Nigeria together can be the engine for growth of our region. I am aware that, in the realities of West African life, Cote d’Ivioire, Senegal and Guinea are equally important components of that engine. We owe it to the region to unleash the energy and ingenuity of the West African and get corrupt and incompetent government officials off his/her back, and, with a market projected soon to be half a billion people, the sky will be the limit.”

He however called for regional integration so as to give enthusiastic support to Community decisions and inspire confidence and integrity in the structural organs of ECOWAS.

Earlier in his address, the convener and Group Managing Director, Verdant Zeal, Tunji Olugbodi, said innovation should no doubt be a direct response to the needs of the environment and rising above economic instability and poor political structures so as to achieve knowledge based economies that will help African Nations compete on a Global level.

According to a research, Olugbodi said 67% of the statistical variance in the climate for creativity in an organization is directly related to the behaviors of the leader of that organization.

“In other words, if things are working well and the people in the leader’s organization are coming up with creative solutions and enjoying their work, there’s a 67% chance that it’s the leader’s doing. If on the other hand, people are not creating innovative solutions and hate what they’re doing or what they see happening, there’s a 67% chance that it’s the leader’s fault.”

He maintained that the changes that Africa is now going through do not cease to amaze as it seem only yesterday when Africa was at the bottom of the class in terms of technological innovation – passively accepting whatever new technology it was deemed capable of ‘handling’.

In his word, “Things have changed remarkably since. Africa is now becoming a global trendsetter in the innovative application of technology – not in producing faster cars or louder speaker systems but in critical areas such as finance, communication, energy generation, agribusiness and finding home-grown solutions to problems that seemed intractable only a short while ago. For once, Africa is leading and the world is following The way the international business community talks about Africa has altered dramatically over the last decade.

“In the eyes of Western investors, organisations and media, the region has gone from basket case to fierce participant in a frenzied catch-up race. But excited discussions about Africa are unlikely to stop there. Perhaps in another decade from now, business discourses about Africa will have further mutated – from Africa the ‘catching up continent’ to ‘Africa the innovator’, inspiring global trends in certain fields.

“What are these areas likely to be? The most promising, according to experts, will be those based on digital technology. The prefixes ‘e’ standing for electronic and ‘m’ standing for mobile have become ubiquitous in Africa.”

Tunji Olugbodi however challenged Africans to embrace new thinking in order to remain dynamic and forward looking.



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