Innovative leadership will deliver the Africa we want

By John Bosco Nyemazi –

As I address my opinion about the solution of Africa from innovative leadership point of view, I would like to briefly shed light on an innovative leader;

The great CEOs who have led their companies to prosperity, from the start up stage to magnificent global positioning have always demonstrated outstanding abilities which include: displaying excellent strategic vision and vividly describing their focus and excellently painting a clear picture of destination while guiding the teams to achieve it.

Innovative leaders exhibit fearless loyalty to doing what’s right for the organisation and the ones they serve, they emphasise speed, inspiration and motivation through actions as a result of clear sense of purpose towards a destined direction and they are result oriented with accountability and corporate governance.

Africa is said to be the fastest growing continent according to recent reports. Greater regional economic integration on the continent will improve the prospects for growth, by enabling African producers to build regional value chains, achieve economies of scale, increase intra-African trade, and become internationally competitive.

Recent years have seen progress in this direction, including the launch of regional organisations to manage regional power pools and water basins.

However, despite this substantial growth, we still face challenges on our continent, including international media injustice; if you have been watching international media, you will realise that they can never depict Africa in a positive manner.

The subaltern mindset and dependence of Africans on the western world, a lack of transformational leadership, failure to put innovation and business entrepreneurship in their priorities to improve the economic livelihoods of Africans, and slow response to digital transformation are among the multitude of challenges faced on the continent.

The long lasting solutions to these existing issues are: innovative leadership, prioritising business innovation and entrepreneurship, optimising digital transformation, and harnessing political and economical integration on our continent.

I was recently reading a book “Rwanda Inc” authored by American writers, Patricia Crisafulli and Andrea Radmond, describing “how a devastated nation became an economic model of developing countries” under the leadership of Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, portraying him as the CEO of Rwanda Inc, and a corporate leader for his innovative and entrepreneurial style of leadership.

Kagame’s role in leading Rwanda’s recovery after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi to a development success story on the global scale through Rwanda’s strategic vision of 2020, put ICT as a priority tool to accelerate economic growth as it is highly energizing and impressive seeing Rwanda’s ICT contribution to GDP during the last two quarters, which stood 2%, ahead of mining and agriculture.

President Kagame is broadly termed as the “Digital President” for his role in optimising the digital systems to improve his country’s economy. This epitomizes the Innovative Leadership.

We must agree that digital transformation is not about only new technologies, but changing the way organisations create value, interact with their customers and business partners, and compete in established emerging markets, the focus here is not in regard to technical aspects of digitalization but the implementation and facilitation of digital vision strategy and development of new technologies, and this should be a joint organisational process both in government and private sectors.

The writer is a Rwandan student at Antwerp Management School, Belgium

Source: The New Times

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