The founder, African Children Talent Discovery Foundation (ACTDF), Engr. Noah Dallaji, has called for renewal of values and attitudinal change in African leadership towards creating a new Africa that works for all.
He made the call while speaking at this year’s global summit of the Africa Development Forum (ADF) with the theme – ‘The Africa we want’, in Accra, Ghana.
He reviewed leadership in the continent and regretted that there was still much to do to change the situation towards a more dedicated and altruistic leadership that serves the greatest good for the greatest number of the people.
He said his attendance at the summit was motivated by his passion for the greater good of the continent where the youths have a major role to play to herald the necessary change and development in the continent.
Dallaji noted that achieving the Africa we want or deserve would, however, be a collective responsibility by first changing at individual level, to that of country and then the continent, and canvassed for good governance and vibrant leadership.
He added that Africa deserved the best because it has the best of all things from the abundant resources, weather to healthy food, intellectual capacity, creativity spanning from music, arts and entertainment.
Wondering why government and governance have been too lethargic to the detriment of the people, he contended that the people had failed in their duties to elect the right leaders.
He said, “We must choose our leaders wisely without sentiment, that is the responsibility we have. Many of these leaders get into office and become masters on their own, neglect the people who elected them and regard them as their servant.
“Most times, some of these leaders have no business being in government because they lack the basic requirements, they get into office because citizens helped them to attain political power by influencing the ballot.
“If this is the case, there is no cause to complain about any action politicians may take while in power because we aided and abetted a skewed process. But in all this, we still have to recognize that this is a democracy which is the people’s government and not leaders’ government.
“We surely need a new Africa where there is political stability, deepened democracy, equity and justice and economic prosperity,” Dallaji stressed.
According to him, all these will only materialize when we attain a position of self reinvention and vision, which he said he usually referred to as a ministry because of intrinsic values, inclusive government and leadership with capacity.
Dallaji stated that Africans must begin to tell their own stories more favourably rather than accepting the narrative as told by western media, which he said, was anti-Africa.
A statement made available to journalists yesterday said the event brought together eminent personalities including the vice president of Liberia, Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor and a representative of Nigeria’s former president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.
Others are former UN ambassador to Eretria and ADF chairperson, Mrs Justina Mutale, leadership development expert, Dr. Linus Okorie and Dr. Ibrahim Dauda, an accomplished business leader.
The statement also quoted Howard-Taylor, ADF director for West Africa Region, Dr. David Egwu, ace comedian, Ayo Makun and CEO, Metro Television, Ghana and Kayode Akintemi as all giving different perspectives of the leadership challenge.
They all agreed with Dallaji’s position on the need for leadership renewal in order to create a new Africa which we all deserve.
On her part, Howard-Taylor who was gender sensitive made a case for women in the conversation for a new Africa, adding the discussion should centre on how each of them should combine resources.
“I think the Africa we deserve takes us to a higher plane—women who hold up half of the sky must be part of the process. We bring a whole different aspect to governance.
“We are interested in doing things to the end, we are interested in collaborating so that women from all spectrums in Africa can work together to build the Africa we want for our children and posterity.
“The time is now, we must begin to work in implementing the key aspects we want in governance so that the Africa we want can be created,” she said.
The statement also quoted ADF director, Dr. David Egwu, as underscoring the importance of the summit’s theme, saying it was high time Africa changed its social profile by challenging the leaders to be accountable.
“We need vibrant leaders who are people-centric, not pocket-centric, meaning that we have to ensure our leaders are men and women who are committed to excellence, probity and selfless leadership. That is what we need to transform the African continent,” he added.