Monday, July 28, 2008

Africa's Monstrous Leadership Styles

If the world's economic powers would join hands to uplift the living standards of the poor African continent, humankind's origin and cradle of civilization would provide alot in return. Ironically, distorted policies and economic strangulation on the continent by powerful half-hearted philanthropists coupled with inhuman practices endorsed by Africa's own ineffective, dictatorial, and lame-brained leaders have set the stage for recurrent rivalry and gunpowder obssession.

Until donor nations denervate the supply lines that feed Africa's monstrous leaders, suffering and destitution will remain in millions of faces indefinitely. A look at past and current African leaders shows none ever died of underfeeding or food shortage. Perhaps the youngest African leader to leave the political spectrum was Sergeant Samuel Doe of Liberia who died not because of malnutrition but because he was executed by an adversary. The same fate befell Joseph Kabila of Zaire.

Most African leaders outlast their compatriots in the West in age and in power. Men like Siyad Barre of Somalia and Haile Selassie of Ethiopia were ousted in coups at advanced ages. Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya died after ruling for 15 years. Hassan Guled Aptidon of Djibouti gave up power at an advanced age to his son Ismail Omar Gelle. Julius Nyerere of Tanzania ruled until poor health forced him to pave way for Hassan Ali Mwinyi.

Omar Bongo seems to be President-for-life for the nation of Gabon, Muammar al-Qadhafi is holding Libya hostage since 1969, Hosni Mubarak has refused to relinguish power since the death of Anwar Sadat in 1981, and most importantly, Africa's most extravagant ruler, Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire died disgracefully in Morocco having left behind billions of dollars of looted money accumulated over three decades of ruthless leadership.

All these men ruled their countries through forceful means. They looted foreign aid and stashed them in foreign accounts. Sani Abacha of Nigeria and Charles Taylor of Liberia left millions of dollars which could be used to feed millions of their citizens. While writers categorize leadership styles into transactional and transformational, most African leaders exercize pseudotransformational-a weird leadership mode that instils fear and servitude in their followers. This type of leaership style was put into use by David Koresh, Jim Jones, Adolph Hitler, and Saddam Hussein. It implied the use of repression, emergency laws, and callous seductive applications meant to benefit the repressive leader.

Africa does not need arms. What the continent desperately needs is economic empowerment to spearhead educational enrichment, political maturity, environmental responsibility, decent healthcare and educational fulfillments.


Hellen Mshilla said...

While it is true that African leaders have failed to shade off dictatorship and other vices mentioned above, we need to shift from the blame game to the solutions. The solutions will come as we address the route causes as well as the perpetuating factors of the problems we face as Africans. A lot of these perpetuating factors have to do with us individual citizens under the rule of our so called dictators. What if, ruled by these corrupt dictators or not, we all choose not to give bribes or solicit for bribes, for instance? What if all of us resist the temptation to indulge in irresponsible sexual behaviors? What if all of us remain honest to ourselves and others and do to others what we would want them to do to us? We would then be able to harness the little resources around us for the good of all of us. The challenge is for us all to start doing the right thing with the heart for the welfare of us and others.

fidi said...

The article is very enlightening.What is the way forward for Africa in terms of leadership?