African Leadership & Economic Legacy

There is a new generation of young African leaders that desire to see the continent of Africa move from being a charity case. Young leaders like Julius Malema of South African Opposition party, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have now taken the mandate of economic independence from the reigns of the independence generation. Recently, Malema challenged Zimbabwe’s octogenarian President Mugabe who at 92 is the oldest leader on the African continent.  Not surprisingly, proMugabe leaders in Zimbabwe’s ZANU-PF were quick to criticize him. Malema’s criticism of Mugabe goes against the African cultural norm of never questioning the authority of elders and holding them accountable on how they actions will affect future generations.

Across the continent young Africans are embracing democracy because they realize that democracy and progress go together like a horse and carriage. At the end of 2015, Rwanda voted to remove term limits to allow President Kagame to run again because he has done a great job to bring Rwanda forward. This faulty thinking is built on the belief that no other person can run Rwanda better. It has turned given Kagame godlike status that assumes his style of leadership is the only thing good for Rwanda. This is what stifled post-colonial African regimes in countries like Zimbabwe which now has some of the lowest economic activity of any peacetime nation.

The old African leaders act like the countries that they ran were an extension of their empires and even seek to pass down leadership from father to son. These dogmas brought retrogression to the content in the post-colonial era. This is the twentieth century where governments are now being run by technocrats and those with the best ideas.

However, there is still hope for Africa. In West Africa, neighboring countries refused to accept Yahya Jammeh’s refusal to relinquish power even after one of the biggest upsets in political history in Gambia. Adama Barrow, a real estate businessman unseated 22 year term dictator Yahya Jammeh at the ballot. With progress in Gambia, there are also setbacks in the DRC where elections are overdue and Rwanda which is giving Kagame a third term.