Imperative of Leadership Education in Africa's Quest for Global Development Space

Adekunle Osidipe


More than half a century after independence from the colonial powers, the spate of development in Africa remains a sharp contrast to the great expectations of the freedom struggle which led to the emergence of modern African countries. The continent is today occupying the lowest rung on the global development ladder beleaguered with widespread poverty,  poverty-triggered violence, civil crisis, youth restiveness due to chronic unemployment, multi-facetted insecurity and many more constraints to stable development which have resulted in continuous massive emigration of majority of the working age population from the continent to other climes in search of greener pastures. The struggle of the continent to occupy a significant position in the global development space continues to remain elusive due to weak or non-existing institutional frameworks to provide the critical impetus and environment conducive for development. Several researches have placed the blame for these on the doorsteps of bad leadership and lack of good governance in Africa. Leadership at the public level is expected to proffer solutions to problems and challenges arising from their immediate environment’s need to respond to changing circumstances within and outside. The challenge in most African countries over the years has been the paucity of leaders with the capacity to promote the requisite development for the continent to effectively occupy a significant space in global development commensurate with the enormous human and material resources the continent is endowed with. Using the eclectic method of inquiry, descriptive and historical overview of relevant themes, this paper explores the challenge of leadership and the attendant consequences. The quality of leadership in many African countries significantly impacts the rate of development or underdevelopment in these countries; the quality of leadership on the continent has adversely affected diverse sectors; especially, the education sector and the leadership in most African countries lacks the requisite capacity to promote the adaptation that will not only restore, but also promote the fundamental interests and values of their society when existing circumstances create contradiction between how things are being done and how they should be done. The study argues that there should be a thorough review of the education system in African countries to give room for leadership nurturing in students through a multi-phase leadership education that is multidisciplinary, global, and ethics oriented as panacea for many of the leadership challenges in many African countries. The inclusion of leadership education in school curriculum will engender the preparation of students with practical and requisite skills that will enhance their ability to be effective leaders in future whether in public or private sector, overcoming the disaster of leadership of the current dispensation while giving assurance for a better future for the continent and the world at large.

Keywords: Africa; Leadership; Development; Education

DOI: 10.7176/DCS/9-6-07

Publication date:June 30th 2019

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ISSN (Paper)2224-607X ISSN (Online)2225-0565

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