Many people believe that leadership is a major problem of Africa. Issues like corruption,abuse of power, lack of transformational and generational leadership have been a major talking point in Africa recently. Most of us have allegorize the challenges of Africa to the aforementioned problems.
From the spade of a decade, this has resulted to the development of leadership programmes with the aim of nurturing responsible citizens who will transform the African continent.The youth have been targeted to transform this generation so that Africa, a continent blessed with human capital and natural resources will become the hub of hope,opportunities and possibilities.
Many young Africans have been beneficiaries to most emerging leadership programmes,traineeship and fellowships .These leadership programmes have been prepared to offer tailor made solutions to the problems of leadership.A lot of funds have been spent by foreign donors, Philantropist and local government because they believe the youth is the future. These programmes have instilled leadership skills among participants.
There have been emergence of motivational speakers, empowerment coaches and mentors who have nurtured many young people to become change makers and transformational leaders but still, the problems of Africa keep tripling. Have we asked ourselves why?
Every young person in Africa assumes to be a leader but still the critical problems affecting African countries are yet to be addressed . The ultimate goal of leadership is to solve problems.Are we really solving these problems? I think we have not paid attention to the major problem of Africa.
The major problem affecting Africa is our mindset and attitude.We always want the rules to remain same.So whenever the rule changes, we complain. Instead of us to adapt to the change by formulating new strategies, we turn to complains.
Until we understand that, the rule will not always remain same, and change our mindset on certain things, our progress will keep long .
Africa should understand that, the game will change,if not, disappointment will always abound. Our strict adherence to some outmoded cultural practices have been one of the reasons why Africa’s progress is taking longer.
Sometimes, when you delve into the attitude and mindset behind the adherence to some of these practices you will wonder.
The typical African is so adamant to change that, we equate new ways of doing things as being “western” and when an African embraces global change and starts thinking differently ,they tag them as being Obroni “white person ”
We are always comfortable with the little we have. Instead of us to explore into new areas, we keep to what have been in use for centuries.
In sub Saharan Africa, the sun is a very great asset. Energy shouldn’t have been our challenge but unfortunately, we have not bought the idea of the solar system of generating energy.
Other continents are making good use of renewable energy but many African countries are still relying on hydro electric power as the chief source of energy.
The attitude and mindset of the African makes it so difficult to adapt to global change. Inferiority complex is another major problem facing many Africans. We set some rules for ourselves and stick to them for centuries with the fear of failing if we change them .The world is not for cowards, it’s for risk takers and as people, We should adapt to change by formatting our African way of thinking.
When the Europeans, Americans and Asians realized that, the game has changed, they moved by finding ways of adapting to the global change but the African is still committed to the old ways of doing things. Therefore, we have been left behind in development. 80% of African countries are categorized as developing countries.
The most frequently used phrase by a typical African is ” this is how our ancestors did it”
Meanwhile, what worked for the Nkrumah’s, Sankara’s and Madiba’s cannot work in our generation.
Being traditional or African doesn’t mean you should be very rigid and adamant to change.It is time for Africans to move forward by adapting to change if we want to be at par with the rest of the world.
Change, is very pivotal to the development and progress of every human race. Our colonial masters set the rules for us and we have been very obedient that, we have forgotten the game has changed.
We are in an era of change and the world will continue to see great innovations.In this era of technological advancements,most of the continents have bought the idea of vocational, technological and entrepreneurship education but African government are sticking to theoretical form of Education which was given by our colonial masters centuries ago.
Hence, we produce talkers who mostly find themselves in politics and enrich themselves by stealing from state coffers.
The 20th and 21st century saw many innovations and inventions. The Americans,Europeans and Asians went to space for the first time in history. Africans are yet to land there. It is not because we are not capable but because we have limited our mindset to certain things which doesn’t embrace change.
There is no university in the world that an African student haven’t completed but still, we are lagging behind in development.
Many African government is over reliance on donor support before any important project can be initiated. Will there always be foreign aid?
In few years to come, robots will take over most of our work.This will result to frictional unemployment. Instead of African government to introduce programs in robotics, coding and soft skills development in schools to equip students ,we are still sticking to the bookish curriculum.
One thing I have learned about the Americans is that, they see what will happen in the next two decades and prepare themselves ahead.Instead of Africans waiting for a change to occur, we should be prepared in advance so that, it will not take us for a ride. We don’t plan ahead so when change occurs we find ourselves wanting.
We still believe in Africa time. When a meeting is scheduled at 10am, a typical African would report at 12pm, if you ask, the response would be, it’s an African time. This African time mindset needs to change because it mostly affect efficiency and productivity. It’s very unfortunate that, about 70% of Africans have this mindset.How will we move forward with this obsession?
At some point in the 17th century, Africa was better than Asia in terms of resources and wealth but now, most African countries are depending on the Chinese for livelihood. The secret of the Chinese is that, they foresee the change long time ago and prepared adequately towards it.
Our problem as a continent is our inability to quickly adapt to change,act quickly, think outside the box, study situations quickly and respond to changes to find new opportunities.
For Africa to move forward, our attitudes and mindset should change.
God bless Mother Africa and make us great.
Contributor: Kenneth Gyamerah