Founder, African Children Talent Discovery Foundation (ACTDF), Engr. Noah Dallaji, has called for the renewal of values and attitudinal change in African leadership towards creating a new Africa that works for all.
Dallaji made the call in Accra, Ghana, at the weekend while speaking at this year’s global summit of the Africa Development Forum (ADF) with the theme ‘The Africa We Want”.
The event brought together eminent personalities including the Vice President of Liberia, Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor, representative of Nigeria’s former president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, former UN Ambassador to Eretria and ADF Chairperson, H.E. Justina Mutale, leadership development expert, Dr. Linus Okorie, and Dr. Ibrahim Dauda, an accomplished business leader.
Dallaji 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 and for this reason, he canvassed good governance and vibrant leadership.
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.
He said Africa deserves the best because it has the best of all things from the abundant resources, weather to healthy food, intellectual capacity, and creativity, spanning the music, arts, and entertainment, and wondered why government and governance have been too lethargic to the detriment of the people.
This, he said, was because the people failed in their duties to elect the right leaders who when they get into office become masters and the people as servants.
He stated: “ So that’s the responsibility we have. We must choose our leaders wisely. We have to decide the kind of leaders we want. Most times, some of these leaders have no business being in government because they lack the basic requirements. Yet they get into office because we citizens helped them to attain political power by influencing your ballot.
“Then you have no cause to complain about any action they may take while in power because you aided and abetted a skewed process. Still, we have to recognize that this is a democracy which is a people’s government and not leaders’ government. We surely need a new Africa where there’s political stability, deepened democracy, equity and justice, and economic prosperity.
“But all this will only materialize when we could attain a position of self-reinvention, vision, which I usually refer to as a ministry because of intrinsic values, inclusive government, leaders with capacity and competence and altruistic enough to be servant leaders.”
Dallaji also asked that Africans must now tell their own stories more favourably rather than just accept the narrative as told by western media which, he said, was anti-Africa.
Also speaking, Vice President of Liberia, Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor, ADF Director for West Africa Region, Dr. David Egwu, ace comedian, Ayo Makun and CEO, Metro Television, Ghana, Kayode Akintemi, though gave different perspectives but agreed with Dallaji’s position on the need for leadership renewal in order to create a new Africa we deserve.
On her part, Howard-Taylor was gender-sensitive as she made the case for women in the conversation for a new Africa, stating that the discussion really should be how each of us can combine our resources, our innovations, and our energies to building the Africa we deserve.
“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’re interested in doing things to the end, we’re interested in collaborating so that women from all spectrum in Africa can work together to build the Africa we want for our children and posterity. The time is now. We must now begin to work in implementing the key aspects we want in governance so that the Africa we want can be created”.
In an interview, ADF Director, Dr. David Egwu, underscored the importance of the summit theme, saying it was high time we changed the social profile of Africa by challenging our 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 and that’s what we need to transform the African continent”, he said.
Written by Emeka Madunagu