Does Africa Need More Leadership Training or Citizen Training?


Does Africa have a problem with leaders or are we as citizens to blame? Are leaders born or made?

What is the responsibility of the citizens in creating bad leaders? What is the responsibility of citizens in creating systems that foster accountability and good leaders? What is the part played by culture in creating bad leaders?

For the past decade the buzzword ‘leadership’ has become mainstream but it can often be misunderstood.What exactly is a leader? Is everyone a leader as some would suggest? If then, who are the followers? and what does it mean to be a follower?

Instead of using the word leadership which takes responsibility away from citizens lets categorize the different people who are responsible for the way society turns out. While Robert Mugabe turned out to be a dictator, he did not become this way as a single entity. In the same way Nelson Mandela and Paul Kagame did not become the kind of leaders they are as a single entity. Instead of discussing leadership like a single man or woman’s responsibility, we should talk about how the process of life molds and shapes each African to become who they are.

Let’s breakdown leadership and how each individual is influenced by

1. Parents (lets talk about parenting and how that influences who you become)

2. Family (lets talk about your immediate and extended family and how it influences who you become)

3. Geography (lets discuss regional influences on your character)

4. Primary and Secondary education system (lets discuss the responsibility of each teacher, administrator and examiner you encounter)

5. Higher Education and skills training

6. Organizations

7. Neighborhood

These things make everyone who they are. Unless we address the contribution of these things in making political, financial, educational, societal and military leaders then all we can ever do is just blame a single leader to failure or attribute success to one leader. The destiny of any African is not in the hands of any one ‘leader’, the destiny of Africa is in the collective responsibility of its citizenry.



  1. Sometimes our cultures foster bad leaders when younger people try to challenge the status quo and they are told that elders are always right and cannot be challenged by younger people.

  2. Africa needs more enlightened & empowered citizens who hold their leaders accountable. I had the opportunity to live in America for some years & from a young age they ‘re taught to question authority. I also observed that the black Americans like Africans were more likely to not hold their leaders feet to the fire.

  3. African citizens also have very low standards for their leaders thats why they are abused. By the way Paul Kagame is growing Rwanda’s economy but he is a brutal leaders who should not be admired.

  4. We need more training on how to establish good governance programs in Africa. What hood is having so many ‘leaders’ who are trained but no one to hold them accountable. This is the current trends which has failed. Parameters need to be established & good governance programs so that citizens know how to get answers from their leaders, bureaucrats & big business. In Chinese run African countries like Zambia & Zimbabwe the business owners physical beat up their worker & governments look the other way just because they want sweat shops in their country. The Chinese when mining for gold in even stole the soil & shipped it to China. This caused land degradation & all sorts of environmental issues but the locals had no channels for their voices to be heard.

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