Many African countries are going through leadership challenges. Although almost every country on the continent has been liberated from colonial rule, there are still problems of poverty, disease and squalor.
There are many countries that have celebrated the golden jubilees of their independence, but very few have anything to show for self-rule.
The dividends of independence in some of these countries are so insignificant that a social commentator remarked that the only manifestation of self-rule has to do with the flag and the national anthem.
The development indicators on the continent point to a terrible shortage of responsible, committed and honest leadership.
Leaders, and indeed good leaders, determine the direction of their countries. They set the tone for progress.
If the leaders are unable to inspire the people to take their destinies into their hands, the people become cynical and discourse on public affairs suffers.
Unfortunately, majority of the countries on the continent are controlled by leaders who are not motivated by the desire to provide selfless service. Our leaders lack the passion for public service.
What they do is to serve their own interests.
For such leaders, their desires are the opposite of the way John F. Kennedy of the USA admonished the people to do, which is “to think of what you can do for your nation and not what your nation can do for you”.
A former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has attributed the lack of development in most African countries to poor leadership on the part of some Presidents on the continent.
Addressing a news conference in Tamale last Tuesday, the former Nigerian President said it was only dedicated and selfless leadership that could “lead Africa to the Promised Land”.
There is rent-seeking among a section of the populace on the continent because of lack of equal opportunities in view of the fact that some of the leaders prey on their citizens for the benefit of their friends and families.
The poor state of political leadership must stir us into action, so that we can collectively cure the oppressive and dictatorial style of some African leaders.
Any effort at getting African leaders to update their style of governance will have a significant payoff that will help build an inclusive system to stimulate a collective resolve to change the destiny of Africa.
The Daily Graphic encourages African leaders to try and imbibe the principles of good leadership. Our leaders must be sensitive to the plight of the people, so that they do not ask their people to sacrifice, while they lead extravagant and profligate lifestyles.
We also urge our leaders to lead by example and consult the people in decision-making in order ro engender trust in their followers.
The Daily Graphic encourages our leaders to take into account the plight of their people in drawing strategies to provide for the needs of the governed.