The Africa Peer Review Mechanism-APRM Chief Executive Professor Eddy Maloka has said that Africa’s problem is not long-serving leaders but the leadership crisis.
At Makerere University’s celebration of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere’s legacy on Thursday, Prof. Maloka stated that a leader can serve for a longer period of time and still benefit his people, whereas leaders who serve for a shorter period of time can wreck the country in a short period of time.
Maloka was talking about what he thinks is holding Africa back in terms of development and how to fix the long-term problems the continent has.
Many political analysts and leaders in the West and Africa have said that Africa’s problem is that its leaders stay in power too long and run out of ideas. Maloka, a history professor who used to work at the University of Cape Town, disagrees and says that what matters is what the leader thinks.
“You can have somebody in power for a very long time, but if that person does good things for that country, you will see change, but you can have somebody for four years and that person destroys the country.”
His argument is that each leader who gets a chance to rule a country must work with his people under their values regardless of the time he spends in power, but many leaders become selfish and only prioritize their interests at the expense of their subjects, which he believes is the biggest problem.
He said some leaders tend to want to own resources that are made to benefit the entire country. He was referring to the leader of Dubai, Sheikh Zayed, who capitalized on oil to transform the city.
The symposium, whose theme is “imagining an African future led by Africa’s young population,” was organized to share thoughts on how the younger generation can be enrolled in leadership positions as well as pioneer Mwalimu’s and Julius Nyerere’s Pan-Africanism campaigns.
Butiku, who is the Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation in Tanzania, told leaders that young people are the future of the continent and that they should work with them.
Dr. Simba Kayunga, from the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at Makerere University, said while African people have their differences, the current leaders should teach togetherness to young people across the continent because Africans have a lot in common and that doing so will carry on Mwalimu Nyerere’s legacy.