Home Africa GOVERNANCE & LEADERSHIP SERIES —- WHY AFRICA IS BACKWARD

GOVERNANCE & LEADERSHIP SERIES —- WHY AFRICA IS BACKWARD

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PROMOTING THE CULTURE OF GOOD GOVERNANCE IN AFRICA “Power enslaves: absolute power enslaves absolutely. I have made a diligent search through history, and I have not come across a single instance where a regime, be it military or civilian, which has come to power at its own will and has wielded that power for many years, has found it easy to extricate itself from the sweet uses and shackles of power, and then hand it to others outside its own hierarchy. ‘’It is possible, quite possible, that my search is not exhaustive and so, I stand to be corrected.” – Obafemi Awolowo; In Voice of Courage 1981  “Our people supported us in our fight for independence because they believed that African governments could cure the ills of the past in a way that could never be accomplished under colonial rule. ‘’If, therefore, now we are independent we allow the same conditions to exist that existed in the colonial days, all the resentment which overthrew colonialism will be mobilized against us”. –  Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana  THE IDEAL — A deep examination of the history of leadership and governance in Africa is replete with instances of leaders who violate or change constitutional provisions fraudulently to perpetuate themselves in office. Some have succeeded, while others have been forced out by revolts. Famed Nelson Mandela was in office for only five years. Mandela spent 27 years in prison fighting for democracy in South Africa. He chose to be president of the country for only one term of five years, after which he toed the path of honour by stepping down. Elsewhere, a woman, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Africa’s first elected female head of state, and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, exited the stage with an ovation as president of  Liberia without being chased around. Apart from winning the coveted Nobel Peace Prize (2011) she is the fifth person to win the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership in 2017. The prize was instituted by British-Sudanese telecommunications magnate Dr. Mo Ibrahim. The prize has on several occasions not been awarded for lack of suitable candidates which confirms its tringent rules in order to truly promote good governance. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf governed Liberia and led the country’s first peaceful democratic transition in seven decades. In her acceptance speech, Sirleaf Johnson said: “The young people today are educated, skillful, demanding, and eventually we have to…

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