Our Discussion Today Is About What Is True Leadership? (Essay Sample)
ThIS WAS A CONTEST open to all African citizens between the age of 18 – 25 years old, to write about their perspective on leadership as it relates to peace and security in Africa. The essays should HAVE respondED to the following question:
“If you were a leader, what would you do to ensure that peace and security is achieved and sustained in Africa?”
The essays should be no more than 2 A4 pages long. The format shall be of single spaced, Arial font size 11, and sent as a Microsoft Word document.
Essays wERE TO be judged on the basis of originality, creativity, use of language and appropriateness to the contest theme.
For time immemorial, the term ‘leadership’ has been desecrated and defiled. Most leaders are now using leadership to not for its intended purpose. The main purpose of leadership has always been satisfying the welfare of the public and empowering a country’s citizens. However, some leaders are now using leadership as a lottery tickets to own wealth. Leadership has been made a license of embezzlement of public funds. Leadership has been used for personal gains rather that transformation of the lives of our precious African people. Leadership has also been used in several occasions to breed hatred, violence and insecurity rather than promote a serene environment of peace and security. It has been used by certain leaders in causing oppression, exploitation and subordination of the common African wananchi.
What is true leadership? As a leader, how can you ensure peace and security through leadership? Those two questions will underpin our discussions today. I believe after this, we will be enlightened and our leadership criteria will take a new course. First, who is a leader? I always love Napoleon Bonaparte’s definition of a leader. Napoleon was a French soldier, statesman and revolutionary. According to him, a leader is a dealer in hope. From this, we can argue that a real leader is one who instills hope and optimism in his. We, the citizens of mother Africa, always want that leader who gives us a million reasons to live. Now what is leadership? My simple and well-cooked definition of leadership is the act of mobilizing resources aimed at the accomplishment of certain goals and the satisfaction of the basic wants and needs of the common Africa wananchi.
Good leadership promotes peace. Now what is peace? My working definition of peace is that given by Martin Luther King, Jr. Martin Luther, a famous human right activist, was not always satisfied with the definition of peace that stated peace is the absence of unhappy situations. In his view, peace must include justice. These were his words ‘True peace is not merely the absence of tension. It is the presence of justice. From that I can argue that peace should include respect of human rights and freedoms and well-being of the people.
Mother Africa as a continent has made remarkable progress in leadership that we must be acknowledge. We have in fact, produced the most powerful leader in the world (Barrack Obama). We also have produced acclaimed and celebrated leaders like Nelson Mandela, Samora Machel, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Wangari Mathai, Julius Kambarage Nyerere, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Thomas Isidore Noel Sankara, Haile Selassie, Kwame Nkuruma among many others. I mention this names with pride for the efforts they have done to make Africa great. We should never disappoint them but rather impress them by keeping the true African spirit alive and burning. Wherever they are laid, we should ensure all that we do put smiles in their faces, those faces that shed blood just to liberate our mother land.
I was never born a leader; I have to admit that. However, I have always learnt to be a leader. You don’t have to work in public offices, private institutions and distinguished organizations to be a leader. Not all managers are leaders, only a few are. You can be the most common individual in a society, without any fame, but let me tell you that this least common person can be a leader a president can never be. Now let us critically analyze the question. What would I do to maintain peace and security in Africa if I were a leader?
The first thing I will do is to maintain the highest standards of integrity in all governmental organizations and institutions. Integrity simply means adherence to moral principles and ethics. Africa states are suffering highly due to this malady known as corruption. Corruption is a dishonest way of misappropriating public funds for personal nourishment. Corruption has been at its highest level in many African states. This is due to lack of integrity. This corruption has stagnated and depleted African economies, it has also led to people losing trust and faith in a political regime or government, it has led to environmental stagnation since institutions expected to enforce environmental regulations and legislations are compromised through bribes. Corruption has also led to widespread poverty and an increased social stratification in a society. This difference has led to an increased crime rate in the society thus hindering security and development. By maintaining high levels of integrity, corruption will be a thing of the past. I will reform government institutions and enforce strict measures on those who are corrupt. My role model in this fight is President Magufuli of Tanzania. This is a leader worth emulating,
Apart from the above, I will also ensure I adopt the spirit of inclusivity. This is where I create an environment where people are included in vital issues that affect them. No one will be marginalized. A government that assumes the presence of the public in crucial decision making aspects is bound to eternal damnation. So, I will always ensure that I involve my people in decision making aspects. This will help avoid violent protests or rebellions. I will interact with my people on a regular basis to know what is affecting them so that I can put them right. Ask one Marie Antoinette of France when the people rose up. She did not like the outcome. I will not only involve the people, but also the opposition parties. It is time we acknowledge the fact that opposition parties are not always there to just oppose. These parties want also to be included in making decisions for the country they hold dear. As a leader, I will embrace them and organize monthly meetings with them to set a way forward for the country. Their ideas may be building blocks for development. So, putting heads together really pays off. It will help avoid propaganda and it will steer the country towards one direction without any animosity between our parties.
As if that is not enough, I will also instill the virtue of accommodation in all my people. This is the one way I will eradicate the most common predicament in Africa which is Ethnicity. I will teach my people to live to love one another despite their differences. All of us have a role to play regardless of our ethnic extraction. So, I will stand firm in the fight against ethnic animosity. This ideology of ethnocentrism has led to divisions and conflicts among African countries. This fueled the Rwanda Genocide and also fueled the Kenya Post-Election violence that was purely ethnic. We still hear of the Yoruba and Ibo of Nigeria. We hear of the Nuer and Dinka of South Sudan. Other countries such as Mali, South Africa and many African states are suffering as a result of this. The legendary Mwalimu Julius Nyerere gave a firm stand against this disease. Our father Nelson Mandela also taught us against this by embracing forgiveness and living as one with our colonizers. Why are we disappointing our forefathers? I will not stand for any form of ethnic segregation. I will let the people see value in one another since they all, regardless of their ethnic extractions have a role to pla...
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