Thursday, February 25, 2010

Connection Between African Leadership And Poverty

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Poverty is a world wide problem which affects a substantial population of the world but which is more prevalent in Africa. A huge chunk of the world’s wealth is in the hands of a selected few. Of all the factors that have contributed to poverty, leadership seems to be the worst and we are going to look at how that directly or indirectly affects the African continent.

The world has produced notable leaders who helped to shape the course of history and affect the lives of the governed positively. These leaders had the interest of the people at heart before they went into office and as such they put the masses first before self, making sure that the people enjoyed the dividends of governance. Such notable world leaders include George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, and Mahatma Gandhi, to mention a few. Of all the leaders Africa had ever had, Nelson Mandela is the only one who is qualified to be counted among the world greats.

Most of the African leaders are not qualified to be called leaders because they don’t have the interest of the masses at heart: they came into politics for personal gains. They see politics as a place of investment where you put in everything you have saved to get into office and then steal everything the country has in order to reimburse yourself for what you lost during campaigns, and also save as much as you can for the future of your family, not minding what happens to the rest populace.

The problem of treasury looting, oppression, tyranny, insensitivity and intolerance for political opponents has remained the same amongst African leaders from the East to West, North and South. The kind of selfish leadership style they adopt has left virtually all African countries impoverished. Check the records of Late President Omar Bongo of Gabon, Late Idiami Dada of Uganda, Ibrahim Babangida of Nigeria, Late Sani Abacha of Nigeria, Late Gnasimgbe Eyadema of Togo, Frederick Chiluba of Zambia, Late Samuel Doe of Liberia, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan, etc and what do they have in common? I am sure you know it.

Leaders who have no deliberate plan to move their countries forward cannot make any positive impact on the lives of the governed. In the western world attempts are made to educate the people so they could be well developed and become useful to the country but here it seems that the less the people are educated the better for their leaders who want them to remain ignorant and never be aware of their rights so they would not stand up to defend their rights when trampled upon. When leaders make up their minds either by omission or by commission that their people should never be developed what do you expect? Poverty, systemic failures, illiteracy, hunger, diseases, backwardness, infrastructural decay and stagnancy would continue to be the lot of the people except leadership styles change positively.

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