Perspectives in Moving Forward: Holistic Leadership, Hope, Elders and Stories
Accelerating Africa’s Renaissance Using Contextual Holistic Leadership Development
Timothy Mwangi Kiruhi Introduction
Nigerian Pan-African leader Tokunboh Adeyemo’s (1997) book Is Africa Cursed labelled Africa an enigma, arguing that though it was the most naturally endowed continent, it was paradoxically the least developed. Tuju (2012) argued that Kenya shared in this phenomenon as it was at the same level of development with Asian nations such as Singapore at independence in 1963. However, today, Singapore is a developed nation (Adei, 2004; Koh, 2007) while Kenya is still underdeveloped. Ugwuegbu (2001), Nyambegera (2002) and Civicus (2011) have advanced many reasons for Africa’s lag in development such as colonization, fragmented ethnic and religious societies, corruption, inefficient government, impunity, low adaptation of technology and poor political leadership. Adei (2004) identified Africa’s major socio-economic challenges to be underdevelopment, degrading poverty and lack of confidence. Contrastingly, Alemazung (2011), in a critical reflection on African leadership, posited
T.M. Kiruhi (H)
International Leadership Foundation, Nairobi, Kenya
© The Author(s) 2017 115
K. Patterson, B. Winston (eds.), Leading an African Renaissance, Palgrave Studies in African Leadership,
that many of these issues were being addressed by governance and policy reforms in Africa. However, policies, processes and technology cannot bring about the needed transformation without the development of the human factor—the education, training, and disciplining of its labour force (Adjibolosoo, 1995) as well as the appropriate human leadership (Anzaya, 2008).
However, Africa’s fortunes are changing as seen in the slogan ‘Africa Risingf which has become a common theme at many recent global/ Pan-African conferences including the International Monetary Fund Conference in May 2014 in Mozambique, and as captured by many recent articles and magazines on Africa including the December 2011 cover page of The Economist. Concurring, the MasterCard Foundation (2014) observed that seven of the 10 fastest growing economies were in Africa. This follows the theme of Africa’s Renaissance which has guided many PanAfrican initiatives such as the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), an African leadership and governance peer review mechanism, which was adopted by the African Union in 2003.