Africa needs new breed of leaders-Obasanjo

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has suggested that Africa needs to nurture a new crop of leadership with expertise and knowledge to achieve the desired development for the Continent.

He said African leadership, both political and functional, needs some orientation, experience, education and exposure, with a new style and skills that would adequately understand the Continent’s economic and political situation and overcome the challenges.

“Once someone assumes political leadership, he thinks poverty will never come to his or her family so they acquire wealth, amass properties at the expense of the poor…African leaders must do away with corruption and abuse of power”, he said.

Chief Obasanjo was speaking at the maiden edition of the Africa Leaders Lecture series at Dugu campus of the University for Development Studies (UDS) on Tuesday, as part of his three-day lecture on the theme; “Leadership in Africa from pre-colonial to contemporary times”.

The lecture, which attracted varied group of people from diverse backgrounds, including academicians, politicians and some group of Nigerians in Ghana would end on Thursday, where Chief Obasanjo would be honoured with a doctorate degree (Phd) by the UDS.

Chief Obasanjo said political leaders in Africa needed some knowledge in all areas, including economics and social issues to make an informed decision for the people, adding that, functional leaders, otherwise known as technocrats in the civil services must also serve good leadership roles for the Continent.

He advised leaders in Africa to adopt varied style of leadership skills depending on the circumstances saying, “Leadership calls for power and power calls for cooperation”.

He said leadership remains fundamental to the continent’s problems stressing that a leader is the one who has the capacity to identify problems and initiate change.

Dr Abdulai Baba Salifu, Chairman of the UDS Governing Council, commended the Vice Chancellor of the UDS for initiating the Africa Leadership lecture series, which he said, was going to be an annual affair.

He said many theorists had suggested solutions to the problems of Africa but it was only African leaders themselves who could find better solutions.

He condemned the conflicts on the Continent and described them as “needless conflicts.”

Prof. Haruna Yakubu, Vice Chancellor of the UDS said the lecture formed part of the 20th anniversary of the university, which was launched in June 2012, noting that issues of social, political and economic ramification of the continent would be addressed in the lecture, universally and narrowed to Ghana.

The VC commended the High Commissioner of Nigeria to Ghana Mr. Ademola Onafowokan for pledging 10,000 dollars for the best graduating student of the Faculty of Integrated Development Studies and the best student of the Faculty of Agriculture, both of UDS.