Africa Governance and Leadership: Borrow from Kenya's Judiciary

Published on 7th August 2012

Kenya's judiciary has set the pace of not protecting its own when it comes to integrity issues. The decision by a court tribunal to recommend that Deputy Chief Justice Nancy Baraza be removed from office due to an altercation with a lowly security guard at a shopping mall sends a strong signal to Kenya and by extension African leaders: it is time leaders became servants. 

It is through servant leadership that the talent trapped in Africans due to the "big man" and "big woman" syndrome can be unleashed. President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya in a recent forum for example, urged African countries to tap into their idle resources - both human and natural. Former Nigeria President Olusegun Obasanjo, called for a mental liberation amongst Africans if the continent is to unleash its potential. An additional step is for African leaders to review how their own attitudes block Africa from productivity and freedom. 

Pragmatic action has seen China, South Korea and Singapore significantly improve the living standards of their populations. Africa does not need rhetoric of development but the practice of development. Africa needs practical and pragmatic approaches to both economics and politics - approaches that should neither be sacrificed on the altar of political expediency nor be a journalistic story. A developmental policy for Africa must be predicated on a vision to have leaders that accept that they are human and servants of the people.

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