Most of our leaders never went through any capacity development programmes to build them to meet the demands of their job description. With some, even their educational background was not oriented towards their job. In most cases their parents, uncles or other relatives were presidents, ministers, or occupied top ranking positions in government, and therefore had the possibility of lobbying for other relatives and family friends to be absorbed in to high ranking government positions as well. It is not like they had the aspiration of becoming such persons, or the capability of handling such responsibilities. Finding one’s self in such a position by chance, the interest of the people will more likely not be at heart.
It has also been observed that the children of administrators aspire to become administrators, so the children of the presidents and others around the president aspire to become presidents, ministers and other top ranking officials. Children from the royal families aspire to become the fon or the chief of the village, and those from great farmers, aspire to have larger farmlands than their parents. With evolution in development, some children from palaces and “farmer-houses” are facing the global village with changing ideas, of moving out of what their parents are doing, but their minds are still far from the presidency and major national, regional and divisional leadership position. This mind frame maintains the same set of people permanently handling the main influential leadership positions in society, and their characteristics flow from parents to offspring.
In an attempt to eradicate this phenomenon, we are starting the first edition of a capacity development programme for children, Foundation Forum for Children, (FOUNDFORCHILDREN), an initiative to build the capacities of children leaving elementary schools to face the difficulties of secondary education, resist peer pressure, build integral professional foundation and to know and face other development challenges later in life. This will serve as a good platform for the enhancement of their capacities and pave the way to a development profession or leadership position with integrity. In this way, we will start developing the minds of children to think logically, make decisions without fear or favor and without financial influence.
Our children from Village schools, some of those from public schools and denominational elementary schools in town have, never touched a computer. Most of these schools have no teaching aid and no committed teachers. Most of these disadvantaged children, leaving from these schools go to secondary schools without any notion of what it takes to develop from one stage of life to another, so the waves of life toss them to various directions, till they find themselves in one unwanted and more disadvantaged situation.
Usually, the majority of children who do not succeed in secondary schools, stem from a poor foundation in elementary education. Out of school, some have never had the opportunity of taking part in any gathering of children or children’s development forum, for lack of the means to pay for such opportunities. The majority cannot take part because they have to go to the farms or sell with their parents to make ends meet.
With the successful implementation of such an ambitious programme, even the most disadvantaged child will have the possibility of consciously going through secondary school, they will be current with recent happening and every child will have almost equal opportunities.
What is disheartening is the fact that corruption is not only in the high positions of authority. It is at every level of the administration, it is even in our small meeting groups and anywhere that somebody is assigned to take responsibility. The few who try to be objective and transparent in carrying out their activities are discredited, isolated and blasphemed by the corrupt. However the other group members usually belief and confide in them when they get to understand the situation. It takes a man to stand against corruption in leadership. So even in small njangies, meetings, CIG and associations, anti corruption strategies and programmes are necessary. In many cases, the corrupt benefit from the ignorance of the uneducated, and the negligence of the educated.
I tell you it is unimaginable that even in churches, individual assume leadership positions in councils, commissions and even in prayer groups for personal benefits.
We are so dissolved in this solvent of corruption that we need to apply enormous heat for the corruption to evaporate from our systems, but we have become so entangled in the corruption web that any attempt to considerably erase corruption will need so much heat which may also take lives away.
I don’t master what obtains in other parts of the world, but if the happenings in Our Land are a true reflection of our minds, then there is work.
So as we struggle to develop one anti corruption strategy after the other, let’s also be molding a New Generation of African Leaders.
In this way we will scrape off this “Corrupt Leadership” from our resourceful, beautiful and beloved African continent.