This essay by Debisi Araba provides his observations on African leadership. It is one of the many excellent essays submitted by Fellows that form part of the African Leadership Institute’s annual Tutu Fellows Leadership programme.  He begins his essay by declaring that "Leadership is a verb".

He then goes on to explain how it must be exercised to obtain solutions needed by a person or group to address a difficult reality. Making leadership more challenging, the reality may not be well understood or the solution may also not be known.  

He says that to exercise leadership, it is important to understand where personal ‘hungers’ lie and how they can be managed without detracting from the work.  Anyone can exercise leadership. A major barrier is conquering fear. Change is difficult because people or groups who need to change fear real or perceived losses. The courage to accept that African economies are lagging and that the quality and focus of leadership must be improved requires an admission that we are not yet the best version of ourselves. 

Fortunately, the tools for exercising leadership can be taught. One way to accelerate the growth of this critical mass of people or groups is to provide the means to define adaptive challenges; the skills to discern between technical problems and adaptive challenges; the platforms to communicate the ‘difficult reality’; and the support to manage ‘hungers’ and fortify courage.

You can download and read his essay by clicking on the button below.





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About AFLI



The African Leadership Institute (AFLI) focuses on building the capacity and capability of visionary and strategic leadership across the continent. Developing exceptional leaders representing all spheres of society, the Institute’s flagship programme is the prestigious Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellowship. Offering a multifaceted learning experience and run in partnership with Oxford University, it is awarded annually to 20-25 carefully chosen candidates, nominated from across Africa. Alumni of the African Leadership Institute form a dynamic network of Fellows passionately committed to the continent’s transformation, bridging the divide between nations and ensuring that Africa is set centre-stage in global affairs.