Sat Oct 29 01:27:26 CAT 2016
Gender equality - Stock image
Security guards get two years’ pay after being fired for being women

Twenty-eight female guards were unfairly dismissed by a security company because the client‚ Metrora.


By unknown | Nov 25, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

SOUTH Africans and Africans define leadership too narrowly - that it is why societies on the continent tend to end up with the most disappointing leaders.

SOUTH Africans and Africans define leadership too narrowly - that it is why societies on the continent tend to end up with the most disappointing leaders.

In poor countries, competent political leadership is a scarce skill that matters even more than in industrial nations.

Industrial nations, where power is dispersed across the society, can tolerate bad leaders better or outvote them.

Since independence African leaders usually come to power when their countries are in great crisis.

Most African leaders had to, amidst great expectations from long-suffering citizens, unite ethnically diverse societies, where one group was often advantaged by the departing colonial powers; and equitably transform poor economies.

Take the example of South Africa. Our country is stuck in a number of interlocking crises: broken families, communities and society; an HIV-Aids pandemic that has been neglected; soaring poverty, unemployment and crime; a pervasive air of public corruption; rising racial animosity; battered democratic institutions; rapidly declining public confidence in government's ability to deliver services; and looming economic problems ahead.

The country must deal with these problems in an increasingly complex, dangerous and economically volatile world.

A national leader should be able to tick most of these boxes to have a good grasp of most of these complexities. But to deal with these issues will need new ideas, direction and energy.

But it also needs leadership that can mobilise diverse talent across the ethnic, ideological and political divide to tackle these problems.

With all these problems, the leadership must in all instances act in the widest possible interest of all of South Africa.

All these problems at the same time, demands that African countries secure special leaders that can lead their countries through these multiple crises.

The right kind of leader in fractious, ethnical diverse and underdeveloped African countries, can be a rallying force that helps binds them together, and help unleash the country's productive energies.

A bad leader, in the context of fragile democratic institutions, ethnic diversity, and underdevelopment, can be terribly destructive: holding back democracy, growth and nation-building.

Worse, in African countries bad leaders are difficult to rid of, and remain a drain on the system long after they are eventually gone.

To respond to these challenges many citizens of African countries rightly demand "strong" leaders. But "strong" leadership is often confused with militancy, tough political rhetoric and silky oratory.

Leaders that shone in opposition in the struggle for liberation and independence, where tough rhetoric and militancy were often necessary to counter the brutality of colonial powers or white-minority governments may not be the kind of leaders needed to reconstruct a crisis post-independence African society.

Most African countries cannot get out of a political leadership trap: members of political movements, citizens and interest groups often want the tough-talking kind of leader, even if he (mostly he) has no competency on the majority of the other almost intractable country challenges.

The problem in most African countries is that there is a mismatch between the kind of leaders pushed forward by political parties, and the kind of the leaders these countries really need to tackle their challenges.


Login OR Join up TO COMMENT