Africa And Leadership Question


The Russia-Africa Summit starting today in Moscow again brings to the fore the leadership issues besetting Africa.
While the summit will look into bringing development to Africa it will definitely arouse a sneaky feeling in the minds of many commentators and critics of the apparent gross leadership abuse and massive corruption facing the continent.
Africa is perhaps the most endowed continent with mineral and natural resources and yet ironically the most under-developed. In fact research shows that 31 per cent of the world’s major mineral resources are located in Africa.
Indeed, the continent is abundantly blessed with oil and gas, copper, diamond, gold, cobalt and uranium to mention a few.
If therefore the continent is a goldmine as it were, why is it lagging behind in economic and social development?
Of course, there is no plausible excuse for its underdevelopment which observers have rightly pinpointed to leadership abuse and corruption.
 In the past it would have been tenable in part to blame Africa’s backwardness on lack of science and technology but such deficiency has been overcome given the exploits and successes recorded worldwide by Africans in various fields of science and technology.
Therefore lack of knowledge is out of the question because Africans can today stand their grounds in academics against any continent. What then really is the problem?
Could it be a culmination of psychological after-effects of the various vicissitudes that befell Africa in the past centuries from colonialism to apartheid to economic exploitation and deprivation by world powers? No. Such vestiges should have worn out by now.
Africa’s problems are mainly caused by the elite who view power not as a means to national economic development but as an end on its own. Perhaps there is no continent than Africa where leaders see power as absolute. Power they say corrupts but absolute power corrupts the more.
Africa is undoubtedly the only continent where people easily get away with corruption; a place where government officials flaunt ill-gotten wealth to the admiration of the society; where people openly line their pockets with public funds and are hardly questioned except for political witch-hunting.
Nearly all African leaders expect to hold on to power and many have tried to circumvent the constitution to extend their terms in office. Such cases are still prevalent.
There is a lot Africa must learn from its counterparts in nation building and economic development especially from the Asian continent where many nations who hitherto were classified as developing countries have become extremely prosperous.
Africa must take a lesson from the Gulf States and the Asian Tigers whose economies have transported them into preferred destinations of the world.
Once the issues of leadership and corruption are robustly tackled and solved, then Africa will rise as a giant and the next great economic wonder of the world.

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