Making Africa work for Africa – Explained


The leaders of African countries make so many sub-optimal decisions given that they were given so little preparation to lead and govern. This is the tragedy of what happened to Africa over the past five decades and is still happening. It is happening not just at presidential level, but at cabinet level, parliamentary level, at the executive directory level of most departments and agencies of government. People are being placed in leadership and government positions with little preparation and given almost no support to make optimal decisions and then we are surprised and dismayed when the patient dies. Is Africa working for Africa now? 

No, certainly not, African is not working for Africa now. With an average human development index level of 0.58, we are far behind to the world average of 0.95. Africa is not working for many Africans.

Does Africa have the potential to work? Sure, it does.

Africa is rich in natural resources, we have 10% of the world’s oil and gas, 20% of the world’s gold, 60% of the world’s diamond, 50% of the world’s cobalt without which you can’t be able to make cell phones. 95%of the world’s platinum and 60% of the world’s arable farming land. Therefore, Africa has the potential to work for Africans, but for most parts, it’s not working. That’s why you see people boarding planes and boats to leave Africa. 

Can Africa work for Africans? Yes it can, 

Because there are some bright lights in Africa that show that it can be done and the best part is that some of these countries are showing that that transformation from an Africa that is not working to an Africa that is working can be achieved in a generation of about 25 years.

Why is Africa not working for African?

This is because leadership is not magic, and leaders are not magicians. There is a simple formula, when leaders make suboptimal decisions, their organizations suffer, whether it’s a family, a company or a country. Without prior and proper preparation or support to do the job properly. It’s no surprise that the leaders are going to struggle, and when it comes to African countries, public sector leaders have a disproportionately large influence over the outcomes for our countries. We would like to think that private sector leaders have the biggest influence, but the reality is it’s the public sector leaders that have the larger influence. When they are not given the support to be able to make optimal decisions, then we will get the national outcomes that we get, we will get the Africa that is not working. And to make matters worse, we have created a five-million-dollar payout for African heads of state who perform excellently as heads of state and yet we don’t give them the support they need as heads of state so that they can pass that exam which we stated that they must pass in order to win the prize.

Indeed, in order to get Africa to work for Africans, there certain things we can do

  1. We need to create support structures for public sector leaders so that they can learn, they can continue to expand their minds, they can become more aware, so that they have the information to make better decisions.
    How do we do this? By creating pure learning opportunities with other sector leaders. Every problem that a public sector leader has, has been solved by another public sector leader somewhere else in Africa.
  2. Encourage the leaders to utilize the support. We can create this ecosystem for them, we don’t need non-Africans, Europeans, Americans to create this for us. We have what it takes to do this. And we can encourage our leaders to take advantage of this opportunity. Imagine 50% of the African public sector leaders are part of learning parts where they pick sense, ideas, solve problems with their peers across different countries, figure out solutions to the challenges. Imagine if those people also have access to taught partners, coaches, who supported them in thinking through the solutions in holding themselves accountable in taking the right actions, then they would be in a position to take those optimal decisions so that we could truly make Africa work for Africa
  3. The MAWA Project (Making Africa work for Africa)
    The good news is, what I have just described is about to happen, help is coming for Africa. The word MAWA in the Chewa tribe – Eastern Zambia means a new dawn or morning. Alexa project, a 25-year project that has been named MAWA is to be launched by Prof. P.L.O Lumumba. The project will provide pure learning, networking and incentives for fifteen thousand public sector African leaders. Therefore, register for MAWA and encourage others to also do so.

I believe that we can, as a continent, become middle income and raise our human development index to 0.8 by 2030 and 0.9 by 2045. It is eminently possible. We have the raw materials, we have the natural resources, we have the population. The missing link is to support our leaders to make the optimal decisions to achieve the very outcomes that we want them to achieve.

Your personal contribution to the new Africa.

  • Be part of a peer learning group. 
  • Make sure you have a coach yourself
  • Encourage your elected and appointed public sector leader to avail themselves to the MAWA opportunity. Together we can make Africa truly work for Africa

Dr. Modupe Taylor Pearce

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