African leaders should embrace change

Jonah Nyoni


Africa is a continent endowed with resources, but we have failed to effectively use them. But why have leaders failed us?

Africa has potential, but we need people who can lead us and are able to change our trajectory.

This is what is generally affecting Africa.

Africa is dogged by many problems, although it has many resources at its disposal.

These are interlectual and natural resources. Africa should learn to be resourceful.

A lot is happening and there is need for the stoppage of war that has had a toil on our infrastructure and mental conditioning.

The future is always ready and replete with possibilities as long as we prepare, plan and pursue for the best that we always dream of. I strongly believe that leadership is simple, but we tend to complicate it using other forms such as kleptocracy, despotism and autocracy.

African leaders should derive lessons from past leaders, both good and bad. There are things that have not worked, but have rather warped our future.

At times, it takes just 10 minutes to destroy a thing, while it may take us decades to rebuild it.

What Africa should be thinking of now:

Create a safe space

Great leaders create a safe space for the incubation of new ideas, easy access and easy cross-pollination of the same. Ideas are everything. The world is controlled by ideas, and the best way is to allow those that are led to give birth to ideas without hindrance. It is up to the current
leadership to embrace new ideas.

Mentorship structures

Young people can be groomed into leadership. What we need as young people is to be afforded an opportunity to learn from other people that have made it.

Zimbabwe and Africa need to be mentored to understand that success does not just happen or fall from some unknown place, but it takes a lot of planning.

We have had education that has not helped us realise our dream as Africa.

At times we have filled our minds with educational rhetoric and verbosity that we never use.

Education, as one person once put it, is meant not to fill our empty minds, but to have them opened up.
As a parachute, the mind works well when it is open. We need the pragmatism of business, entrepreneurship and the nation’s leadership in order to function properly.

Exposure to other democracies

Young leaders should be exposed to proper structures of leadership. Most of them always learn through trial and error. Why not expose them to what is already functional? This will prove helpful at the succession moment.

Anyone can take up as a successor, but not everyone is a good successor. Its a point I explore in my new book.

Vision should not be limited to a leader’s lifetime and to perpetuate it, leaders have to impart it to others. The question then is: who do leaders pass the baton to? There is need for investment into young leaders through exposure.

What did not work will never work

Africa should learn that what did not work in the past, is most likely not going to work in the future.

This has been said over and over again: If we use the same thing and expect a different result, then that would be insanity.

Leaders should be eager to look for new solutions to old problems and be determined to see a better and brighter Africa.

Servant Leadership

Servant leadership will tell us that as leaders, we should never be egocentric, with I and myself at the top and all others wailing below under my
autocratic realm.

Servant leadership is about empowering the community. Connotatively, Jesus had this to say: “If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all,” (Mark 9:35).

There is need for continued stimulation and forward-thinking on this theme.

There has never been a time like now for Africa to restructure and redefine where it wants to be. Otherwise, we might forever be caught up in circles that lead to nowhere.