Rampant corruption is a major impediment to Africa's growth, development and prosperity, and prevents the continent from reaching its full potential. Accountable and ethical leadership is needed to transform Africa into a global powerhouse.
This is the key message of a new book co-authored and co-edited by Prof Pregala Pillay and Dr Chris Jones from the Anti-Corruption Centre for Education and Research and the Unit for Moral Leadership at Stellenbosch University respectively. The other two co-editors are Prof Purshottama Reddy and Dr Sakhile Zondi from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Entitled Lessons from Political Leadership in Africa: Towards Inspirational and Transformational Leaders, the book comprises 16 chapters that are divided into three parts. The first part focuses on the South African experience, the second on neighbouring African countries such as Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda, while the third section concentrates on the role of universities. Prof Benson Igboin (Nigeria), Prof Michel Tshiyoyo (DRC), Dr Alfred Sebahene (Tanzania), Dr Paul Kariuki (Kenya) and Prof John-Mary Kauzya (Uganda) contributed chapters on their respective countries.
According to Jones and Pillay, the book contains many examples of the interplay between corruption and unethical leadership and its consequences.
“It points out that corruption is a cancer and a disease that must be treated, otherwise it spreads throughout the system and eats away at the true spirit and tenets of democracy. Corruption steals from the poor, destroys public trust, and eats away at the moral fibre of society."
They say the book is timely because of the urgent need to refocus our efforts on the African continent and her people, while at the same time forging ahead with democratic, accountable, people-centred, ethical and transparent governance and leadership.
“Abuse of power, position or office compounded by greed, self-enrichment and acts of dishonesty has dire consequences for mankind, and, as such, each contribution in this book promotes Africa's vision to sustain humanity and its people, away from social ills such as extreme poverty, distinct inequalities and large-scale unemployment."
Jones and Pillay say we need a new generation of bold, passionate, confident, inspiring leaders to make a difference and leave an indelible mark in the global arena.
“This is the fundamental spirit of leadership for the Africa that this book wants and wishes to nurture. It wants to, through lessons learned from political leadership, motivate inspirational and transformational leadership in Africa and beyond. We cannot go back and change the past, but we can learn lessons, both good and bad, and change the future towards a bigger, better, and brighter tomorrow."
The book will appeal to a wide audience including citizens, scholars, and leaders for whom the democratic system is non-negotiable and who are serious about making the world a better place.
- Lessons from Political Leadership in Africa: Towards Inspirational and Transformational Leaders is published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing in the United Kingdom. It is available at Amazon and other online bookstores.