President John Pombe Magufuli appoints new Board of Directors

UONGOZI Institute is pleased to welcome new members of the Institute’s Board of Directors as appointed by the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, H.E John Pombe Magufuli effective from 31st May, 2017.


Kari Alanko



1. Ambassador Kari Alanko

Embassy of Finland,

South Africa






2. Prof. Idris Kikula        

Vice-Chancellor, University of Dodoma (UDOM),





3. Dr. Laurean J. Ndumbaro

Permanent Secretary, President’s Office,

Ministry of Public Service Management and Good Governance,





4.   Dr. Stergomena Tax                             

Executive Secretary,  Southern African Development Community (SADC),






5. Prof. Penina Mlama

Professor at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM),






6. Dr. Cristina Duarte

Former Minister of Finance, Planning and Public Administration,

Cape Verde


Iina Soiri



7. Ms. Iina Soiri

Director of the Nordic Africa Institute,


David Walker


8. Mr. David Walker      

Former Director of the European School of Administration,

United Kingdom



The appointment of Deputy Chairperson of the Board of Directors will be announced on a later date.




“Patriotism required for negotiation of better trade deals” – TZ Deputy Attorney General Gerson Mdemu

Mdemu 1
Deputy Attorney General Mr. Gerson Mdemu delivers his remarks during the launch of the regional negotiations skills training on ‘International Trade Agreements’ in Dar es Salaam. Seated from left to right is: Facilitator and Lawyer of Global Law Firm – DLA Piper Prof. Jay Gary Finkelstein, Director of Multilateral Cooperation at the Tanzanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Celestine Mushi, UONGOZI Institute’s Capacity Development Specialist Mr. Kadari Singo and facilitator from the International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP) Ms. Katerina Drisi.

The Deputy Attorney General of Tanzania, Mr. Gerson Mdemu, has called upon senior government officials in Africa to be patriotic when negotiating contracts on behalf of their countries – in order to come up with the best of win-win trade deals that can benefit and boost the economies of their respective nations.

Mr. Mdemu made these remarks on behalf of the Attorney General of Tanzania Hon. George Masaju during the official opening of a regional negotiation skills training programme on ‘International Trade Agreements’ in Dar es Salaam organized by UONGOZI Institute in collaboration with the the Columbia Center for Sustainable Investment (CCSI) of Columbia University in New York, and the International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP).

“Before we engage to negotiate, interests of our Countries must not only be known but also protected patriotically,” said Mr. Mdemu.

“The question that remains a challenge is how do we best protect interests of our Countries as we deal with international and multinationals agreements? Certainly negotiations skills are highly called for. This two weeks training officially launched today will in a way, provide some answer to this basic challenge,” he said.

Deputy Attorney General Mr. Gerson Mdemu (seated middle) in a group photo with participants of the regional negotiation skills training on ‘International Trade Agreements’. Seated from left to right is: Facilitator and Lawyer of Global Law Firm – DLA Piper Prof. Jay Gary Finkelstein, Director of Multilateral Cooperation at the Tanzanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Celestine Mushi, UONGOZI Institute’s Capacity Development Specialist Mr. Kadari Singo, and representative of the Electricity, Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) Eng. Thobias Rwelamila

On his part, the Capacity Building Specialist of UONGOZI Institute, Mr. Kadari Singo, said that the ongoing training which started on Monday, 19th June 2017 will last for two weeks, and consists of 31 senior government officials from 9 African countries including; Ghana, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi, and the hosts -Tanzania.

The programme aims to strengthen negotiation capacities and competencies of senior officials that are involved in negotiating trade agreements, hence impart to such participants sufficient practical skills with a direct focus on International Trade Agreements by using a variety of real case studies mostly from the countries present here or any other that is relevant.

By the end of the training, participants are expected to be able to:

Lawyer of Global Law Firm – DLA Piper Prof. Jay Gary Finkelstein facilitates a session.

1. Equip with requisite negotiation skills and techniques in order to define and achieve strategic national and sustainable objectives during complex negotiations.

2. Build on the learning gained and apply the negotiation skills in a specific context that is trade negotiations; and

3. Build in general negotiation skills, to master negotiation processes and techniques, apply different negotiation styles and skills, and lead in negotiations to achieve the desired outcome.

Meet Liz Guantai, UONGOZI Institute’s 2016 Leadership Essay Competition Winner!

UONGOZI Institute’s 2017 Leadership Essay Competition is ongoing and the contest has been getting really heated day by day, most especially with the deadline approaching on the 14th July. A lot of hopeful contenders wanted to hear about the experience of previous winners and how they managed to get there.

UONGOZI Institute therefore caught up with Liz Guantai, the 2016 Leadership Essay Competition Winner from Kenya, to share with the rest of young people across Africa about her experience on the competition. Here’s the conversation between us.

Liz Guantai
Ms. Liz Guantai receives the UONGOZI Institute 2016 Leadership Essay Award as the overall winner from former President of South Africa H.E Thabo Mbeki during the African Leadership Forum Gala Dinner in July 2016.

1. UONGOZI Institute: Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

Liz: My name is Liz Guantai, a 25 year old Kenyan residing in Nairobi, Kenya. I graduated with a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Nairobi in December 2015. Thereafter I joined the Kenya School of Law from January to December 2016, in order to be admitted as an Advocate of the High Court at the Kenya bar. I have also pursued the required professional courses in practicing Accounting and Company Secretarial practice in my country.

As a Law student, I was involved in several programs in the line of protection of human rights, social justice and community empowerment, which I am very passionate about. In 2015 I was selected as one of UN Women’s 72 global champions for women economic empowerment, a program I still participate to date.

Currently, I am an employee of Deloitte & Touche Kenya, since January 2017. I am an Associate in the Financial Advisory department, particularly provision of Company Secretarial Services.

I hope to continue using my skills, knowledge and experience to make an impact in my community and beyond. I love writing and I shall continue using it as an empowerment tool.

2. UONGOZI Institute: What inspired you to participate in the Leadership Essay Competition?

Liz: One evening in May 2016, I was going through the recent updates of a popular website for African opportunities, searching for a scholarship grant that could facilitate me to pursue a Masters degree in a reputable university abroad. That is when I came across the UONGOZI Leadership Essay Competitition.

As soon as I read that the Essay finalists would get a free ticket to the Prestigious African Leadership Forum, I was immediately interested.  I could already picture myself engaging in brilliant dialogues with renowned African leaders and top business delegates. And of course I was very enthusiastic on seeing the prize money of 2000 USD. Lets be real, we would all cross a crocodile filled river to collect some cool dollars on the other side!

The topic was intriguing, what to do as a leader to improve African Businesses. As a young person, this was a subject that crossed my mind often. Business and Leadership. The connection, the disconnection, the lacunars and the solutions. The issue was real and required an answer providing a sustainable long-term solution. Being the African optimist that I am, I had very many ideas to contribute to this topic. I was glad that Uongozi Institute, through this Essay, was finally giving me a platform to express and suggest my unwritten thoughts and offer solutions to such an important issue. I decided I would bring the topic closer home, focus on my personal observations of the business industry and the strategies I would adopt to improve it as a leader.

3. UONGOZI Institute: How was your experience in Dar es Salaam at the African Leadership Forum? What interested you the most? Any thoughts on the Youth Dialogue?

Liz: Everything about it was superb. UONGOZI Institute staff received us well and gave us the best hospitality that one can ever get in a foreign country. Five star hotel. The Beach. Great food. Name it.

The issues discussed by the Panelists were real and in dire need of resolutions. They included business inclusivity, eradication of poverty and sustainability of the African economy among others. I recall H.E Mkapa’s emphasis on Africanising the SDG’s and Mr Nkosi’s views on using African businesses not just to generate income but to transform lives, as well as other sentiments put forward by all the great speakers. Throughout the day I learnt so much from the discussions, as well as the contributions from participants.

My highlight of the day was meeting so many inspiring people at the ALF. I talked to a lot of participants, most of whom are established leaders and business owners who were very generous to share their knowledge and experience with aspiring leaders like myself.  I loved meeting and sharing with the Essay finalists, as well as other young energetic and dynamic young people equally passionate about improving the welfare of our continent. An example of an Inspiring youth I met is Ms Chidimna Akaniro, an essay finalist from Nigeria who runs a successful Youth Organization and fashion business. As young people, we were able to brainstorm on many topical issues and even formed a social media platform to continue the discussions in our countries.

The youth Dialogue was one of a kind. Real business stories by young people told to young people. I loved the honesty in the entrepreneurs’ start up stories, as they explained how they overcame challenges and setbacks to make their business ventures a success. I had many lessons to take home for myself. I was especially inspired by Ms Susan Mashibe, the first African female Pilot/Engineer and her quest to a successful Aviation business created out of an idea. She was a big inspiration to women and the youth.

4. UONGOZI Institute: What tips can you share with young people who would like to participate this year? How can they improve on their writing?

“Dear Youth of Africa,

You should give this competition an attempt. The award is motivation enough. 2000 Dollars can change your life in one night. The ALF is an event you should not miss out on. The experience is unmatched and exceptional.  Most importantly, do not write just because there is an award, but because Africa needs our voices as young people to improve the Continent. We as the youth are the upcoming generation of leaders. We are the generation to foster the SDGs. Your ideas as a young person are vital in determining the state of Africa. Do not keep your thoughts to yourself. They could be the solution to our challenges. Speak out. Suggest. Propose. Write.  It is your right.

Here are a few tips:

Write in your own voice

This essay is not an examination that requires hours of preparation in the school library. It is basically a problem statement seeking for a solution. You have that solution. Write it. You need not be an expert in Peace and Security studies to contribute your thoughts on the topic. It is an issue that is with us, affecting us everyday in our countries, cities and community set ups. Think about the issues you face as a person, as a community and as a country and beyond, and the proposals you would personally recommend to improve the situation. Note that what UONGOZI Institute requires is your original personal recommendations, not the AU, UN or any other body’s. Be candid with your ideas and express them as genuinely as possible.

Practicable ideas

As you write, ensure that your ideas are reasonable and realistic. This is not a writing competition based on works of fiction, but a quest for sustainable, implementable solutions. Use practical examples that everyone can relate to, remembering that your ideas should have an impact on Africa as a whole and not a section or class of it.


Do not forget the general rules of writing; and be as accurate as possible. State your opinion yes, but base it on facts. Reference, quote or hyperlink any statement that is not yours. Plagiarism is a grave intellectual crime. Avoid it. Write a draft and do a self-review before you submit it to ensure that it looks as good as an essay that will impress a panel of judges.

All the best!


Are you interested in participating in the 2017 Leadership Essay Competition? Click on the following link to apply

Why Nations Fail – A book review

WhynationsfailBy Melisande Denis

Why are some countries rich, and why are others poor? What can account for economic disparities across the world? Analyzing three millennia of world history and focusing on case studies from extremely diverse countries, Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson address these questions in their book Why Nations Fail, The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty. They argue that the wealth of a nation is dependent on its economic and political institutions: the more inclusive they are, the more prosperous the country will be. In other words, the key to sustained economic growth lies in open institutions that foster the participation of all the citizens.

The study of the city of Nogales, which is divided between the United States and Mexico, is the starting point of their argumentation: what can explain that, north of the border, American citizens enjoy much better standards of living (in terms of health, education, income or security), than Mexican inhabitants living in the southern part of the town? How can one border justify such a gap? D. Acemoglu and J. Robinson reckon that the major difference between the two countries is that American institutions have created a more conducive environment for economic growth than those of Mexico. Indeed, in the US, property rights are enforced, a level playing field is established, and investment in new technologies and skills is strongly encouraged: anyone willing to start a business in the US can do so without fearing arbitrary expropriation or unfair competition. State governments and the federal administration, which are democratically elected, are responsible for ensuring that equal chances are given to everyone; and, if they feel that they are being unfairly treated, citizens can rely on other institutions to defend their rights. Political institutions are centralized, designed to fight corruption, and enforce law and order across the country, hence fostering economic success. On the contrary, in Mexico, democracy is no second nature, and political institutions are more extractive: corruption is endemic and property rights are fragile. Creating a company in Mexico is a highly risky business, as monopolies and strong relations between politicians and large firms threaten smaller entrepreneurs’ interests. Institutions are partly designed to extract resources from the many by the few, and thus fail to provide incentives for economic activities. In short, inhabitants of the southern part of Nogales are poorer than those in the north because their institutions are not inclusive: the less people are encouraged to take part in business activities, the slower their economy will grow.

This is not to say that extractive institutions are inconsistent with economic growth: in order to have more to extract, political elites would, in theory, favor prosperity. But, as they extend their argumentation to different situations across time and space – ranging from the Soviet Union to the Kuba Kingdom in the actual DRC, through the recent rise of China – D. Acemoglu and J. Robinson argue that growth under this kind of institutions cannot be sustainable. Indeed, innovation is necessary for economic development, but with innovation comes creative destruction (meaning that older techniques and skills are replaced by new ones) which tends to destabilize established power relations. Elites thus fear innovation and tend to prevent it, and by doing so, hinder economic success. More than that, the fact that they benefit greatly at the expense of the rest of society means that power is highly coveted: political instability is often the rule in extractive environments, which prevents businesses from developing.

Economic disparities across the world depend thus on political institutions: the less inclusive they are, the more those in power are tempted to seek their own interests, and the more detrimental it is to their national economy. On the contrary, political institutions which distribute power in a pluralistic manner guarantee that various interests can compete, and that their economy will thrive. But why have some nations developed inclusive institutions, while others have not? As they review ruptures such as the Glorious Revolution in England, the signature of the American Constitution, or the Meiji Restoration in Japan, the authors reckon that these evolutions are mostly a matter of small differences. In fact, little divergences – such as the existence of broad coalitions that have a relative hold on power or the presence of some degree of centralization – have proven extremely meaningful during critical junctures. In the UK for instance, the fact that the Parliament had some influence over the monarchy in the fifteenth century (due to various historical circumstances) meant that the opening of the transatlantic trade could benefit a larger segment of the population, instead of only the Crown. And, as their economic power increased, they were gradually able to effect political change towards more inclusive institutions. Contingency and small differences are thus key elements of the book’s theory: had parliament not held this kind of power at this particular time, the Glorious Revolution might not have occurred this early.

This perspective necessarily constrains the predictive power of the authors’ approach, but D. Acemoglu and J. Robinson acknowledge and embrace the limit of their work, as they claim that it discredits any theory based on historical determinism. Prosperity and poverty are not given, but depend on the institutional drift of nations, which can hardly be anticipated. The major strength of their study is thus that it offers an innovative approach to the questions of economic development, which challenges formerly established theories. Indeed, the example of Nogales, one single city with very different levels of development, helps dismiss the geographical and cultural approaches (the former using climatic and territorial disparities to explain differences in development; the latter focusing on cultural factors, and claiming that some civilizations are ill-adapted to engineer economic growth). In the same way, the elites’ tendency to resist creative destruction challenges the ignorance theory, which considers that leaders do not foster development because they simply do not know how to do so: quite often, those in power are aware that their decisions are impairing national growth, but they decide to favor their own interests nonetheless. Why Nations Fail thus presents a creative theory to explain the origins of prosperity and poverty; and the variety of cases presented, which are highly readable and well-documented, makes the authors’ arguments all the more compelling.

Why Nations Fail, The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson is available in UONGOZI Institute’s Resource Center.

Melisande Denis, currently interning at UONGOZI Institute, is pursuing a Master’s degree in European and International Studies at the University of Paris III: Sorbonne Nouvelle in France.


Photo source: Geneva Center for Security Policy

Gwamaka R. Kifukwe

The global community has reached consensus that climate change is indeed happening, and is a threat to our livelihoods as currently configured. It presents several challenges as ecosystems adapt and weather patterns take new forms, leading to a series of changes. Even if the causes and extent of the threats are still in dispute, climate change is the accepted reality. Rightly, the focus is turning towards thinking of what the impacts of climate change could be, and what can be done about them. Debates now focus on methods of mitigating (the negative impacts) and adaptation to the changing climate reality. In large part, these debates have emphasised the social and economic elements and impacts of climate change – little attention, particularly in Africa, has been paid to the security implications to date.

‘Climate Security’ is a concept that focuses on the impacts of climate change as posing a serious threat to the world’s nations and peoples. In effect, global climate is conceptualised as a public good, and therefore requires national and international recognition and action. Security must be understood in its broad sense, that of being free from a particular danger or threat. Climate Security is therefore heavily linked with energy security, food security, water security, and human security – particularly with regards to changing disease zones, and intra- and inter- state migration.

A Growing global concern

This contested concept is not ‘new’, but it has gathered wider recognition and momentum more recently. By the 1970s various attempts had been made to put environmental concerns into the international security agenda – particularly following the United Nations’ first major conference on international environmental issues known as the ‘Stockholm Conference’ in 1972. The main reason for this has been to increase the relevance of environmental (and by extension, climate change) challenges in politics. The emphasis remained however on social, economic, and environmental aspects, particularly in relation to the development of poor countries as highlighted in the Earth Summit of 1992. In 2005, at the G8 Summit at Gleneagles, the British Government pushed for global action on climate change, with security implications tabled as an important consideration. This was followed by the issue being raised by the UN Security Council for the first time (‘Energy, Climate, and Security’) in April, 2007.  More recently, the Paris Climate Conference (COP 21), held in December, 2015 is the greatest milestone reached to-date regarding global collaboration on tackling climate change, and the security implications of climate change were one of the key considerations.

Climate Security and Africa

Climate Security is an important policy space that has direct relevance for Africa’s sustainable development and transformation. As predominantly low-carbon economies, there are a lot of challenges and opportunities at the nexus between the industrialisation (a major African aspiration) and climate change (a global concern) agendas. Globally, there are an increasing number of initiatives and funds aiming to assist developing countries to pursue so-called ‘green’ and ‘blue’ growth strategies which emphasise sustainable use of land and water resources, respectively, rather than following the traditional ‘brown’ industrialise at any cost, and then ‘clean up’ with the new-found wealth later development pathways. Moreover, African economies and livelihoods are highly dependent on their links to nature given the high proportion of the population that is rural, and also the high proportion of people engaged in agricultural and related activities.

Climate change has usually been considered a ‘multiplier of threats’, and the tendency has been to view climate change action as an impediment to economic growth, given the limited resources available for developing countries, pursuing their development aspirations. Inevitably, inaction has been seen as being in national interests in some countries, particularly where countries express climate change as the responsibility of industrialised nations who have caused it, and have the means to tackle it. However, increasingly and globally, the cost of inaction is catching up to, if not overtaking, the cost of climate action. As a result, the discussions surrounding climate change have come to the fore; so too has the recognition of the fragility of ecological systems upon which all human beings are dependent on. As Africa becomes increasingly inter-connected with the world, and grows in stature in the global arena, climate security will likely become a leading concept guiding future climate-related policies, and, to some extent, regional and international cooperation and relations of the Continent.

Implications of Climate Security

Climate Security encourages the (re-)assessment of existing institutional frameworks at every level. Are practices and institutions associated with security adequate and equipped to deal with environmental and climate change related challenges? The key concern is that if appropriate measures are not taken, and promptly, threats from climate change will grow both in number and severity. At present, the politics and economics of climate change in Africa are generally not well understood, presenting a unique challenge that needs to be addressed rather urgently. In addition, climate change is already changing tropical disease zones for plants, animals, and people – leaving communities and ecosystems vulnerable and threatening livelihoods and ecosystems.

For small island states and regions, for example Mauritius and Cape Verde, as well as areas that are at high risk of flooding due to increased annual precipitation and sea level rise, for example Guinea Bissau, climate change poses potential existential threats. In other words, climate change could make large areas of their territory, if not all of it, unsuitable for human existence and more prone to natural hazards and disasters. Shared natural resources, such as the Great Lakes and the Nile River Basin, are also increasingly sources of tensions within and between states that requires attention – We need only look to the tragic consequences of the drying-up of Lake Chad to warn us of potential future scenarios.

Climate Security is a critical component of sustainable development

In summary, the security implications of climate change need serious attention both in terms of their intra- and inter- state impacts. These issues must be taken on board in the broader security discourse of the Continent, regions, and indeed countries and sub-national regions. This applies to the broader civilian population, but also to the formal security apparatuses of the continent. We are no longer able to treat the environment and climate as a stable and neutral context to which our societies and economies operate within, we must recognise climate (and the environment) as a dynamic factor that needs specialised consideration, as with other elements of human activity. In Africa, given our dependence on nature, this is even more important – both to the continent, and indeed to the world.

Dr. Gwamaka Kifukwe is the Programme Coordinator for the Sustainable Development Programme at UONGOZI Institute. The Programme has three thematic tracks: 1) Climate Security; 2) Green Industrialisation; and 3) The Implementation of Sustainable Development. The Programme aims to increase the understanding of sustainable development by leaders; and improving policy coherence for sustainable development.





Regional Negotiation Skills training on Oil and Gas kicks off

Mr. Marc Hammerson, international lawyer in energy from Akin Gump, United Kingdom facilitates one of the sessions during the Regional Negotiation Skills training on Oil and Gas which took place in Bagamoyo, Coastal region recently.

15th May 2017, Bagamoyo – The Institute of African Leadership for Sustainable Development (UONGOZI Institute) has launched a regional negotiation skills training programme on oil and gas targeting senior officials from Africa ­­– with the aim of equipping them with the necessary skills and techniques to bargain and secure lucrative deals that will benefit their respective countries.

The regional training which was launched in Bagamoyo last week consisted of a team of 30 participants from 8 different potential and producing oil and gas nations from Sub-Saharan Africa, namely; Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria, Namibia, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar. Participants came from different backgrounds including Economists, Geologists, Lawyers, Environmentalists; Land, Water and Trade experts.

“The objective of this programme is to strengthen the participants’ negotiation capacities and competencies in oil and natural gas commercial contracts and investments deals,” said Prof. Joseph Semboja, Chief Executive Officer of UONGOZI Institute.

He added, “Our ultimate goal is to prepare each official of the negotiation team for actual negotiations, focusing on strategy and skills required for successful negotiations with international oil companies.”

This training programme will also equip the participants with requisite negotiation skills and techniques to enable them to define and achieve strategic national objectives during complex negotiations for sustainable development.

According to the Head of Capacity Building at UONGOZI Institute, Mr. Singo Kadari, the course is being delivered in collaboration with international experts from Columbia University, Center for Sustainable Investment (CCSI) in New York, and the International Senior Lawyers’ Project (ISLP). The delivery of the programme will employ a blended approach involving lectures, presentations, discussion, sharing of practical experiences, role play simulations and case studies.

The programme will have two sessions; negotiation skills for natural resources with focus to oil and natural gas sectors’ commercial contracts which took place from 8th to 12th May, 2017, and a second session to take place from the 19th to 21st June 2017.

Mr. Ali Bakar, the Deputy Managing Director of the Zanzibar Petroleum Regulatory Authority (ZPRA) makes a contribution during the regional training.

Commenting on the training programme, one of the participants, Mr. Ali Bakar, who is the Deputy Managing Director of the Zanzibar Petroleum Regulatory Authority (ZPRA) said, “This is very critical for we are in the early stages of exploring oil and gas. We have just started to hold talks with International Oil Companies..and therefore need this kind of expertise to make sure that we negotiate appropriately and seal contracts that are profitable for the people and government of Zanzibar.”

Another participant, Ms. Maggy Shino, Petroleum Commissioner from Ministry of Energy and Mines in Namibia said that the training programme created an excellent platform for participants from Namibia to engage with fellow oil and gas experts from different countries in Africa which have already started producing and have gained more experience in the field already.

Ms. Maggy Shino, Petroleum Commissioner from the Namibian Ministry of Mines and Energy stresses a point during the regional training.

“The training enabled us to learn first-hand from our colleagues, to learn what they have done so far, to study their pitfalls and what they hope to achieve,” said Ms. Shino, adding, “I really liked the delivery of the training, it was well tailored and structured, thought provoking and realistic to the current industry trend.”

Courses include Fundamentals of Oil and Gas, Legal framework for Oil and Gas, Fiscal Framework, Primary Methods for Granting the Right to Develop Oil and Gas, Planning and Revenue Management, Local Content and Economic Diversification, and Key issues arising from an analysis of African Production Sharing Agreement.

Leadership Essay Competition 2017 now open

Web banner essay.jpgAfrican citizens between the age of 18-25 are invited to submit an essay for this year’s Leadership Essay Contest organised by the Institute of African Leadership for Sustainable Development (UONGOZI Institute).

The essay contest aims to provide a space for the youth of Africa and the next generation of leaders in the region to contribute to important discussions on leadership.


The contest is 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 respond 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 will be judged on the basis of originality, creativity, use of language and appropriateness to the contest theme.

All essays must be written in English.


A grand prize of USD $2,000 will be awarded to the overall winner of the essay contest.  A total of five winners will be selected. Cash prizes will also be awarded to the second to fifth place winners.

The top 5 winners will travel to Johannesburg, South Africa, to receive their awards at a prize giving ceremony to be held during the Africa Leadership Forum Dinner Gala on 24 August, 2017, which will be attended by senior leaders from across Africa in the public, private and civil society sectors. The overall winner will be asked to read the winning essay at the event.


Applicants must be African citizens between the age of 18-25 currently residing in Africa.

The selected winners will be required to travel to Johannesburg on 23 August, 2017, therefore valid identification and travel documents will be required for this purpose.

How to apply:

Essays should be submitted by email to

Applicants must also submit a written statement of originality and ownership of intellectual property rights.

The final deadline for submission will be Friday, 14th July, 2017 (5pm GMT). The top five finalists will be notified via email by the first week of August. Feedback will not be provided on individual essays.

Template for Statement of Originality:

I, (Enter full name), hereby confirm that the content of the essay I have submitted is my own work and it has not been submitted elsewhere for any other purpose.

I certify that the intellectual property rights for this essay are owned by me and that any information that was sourced elsewhere has been appropriately acknowledged.

(Enter Signature and date)

New ‘Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership’ executive programme officially launched

Resized pgd
Minister of State in the President’s Office for Public Service Management and Good Governance Hon. Angellah Kairuki (2nd from right), Minister of Home Affairs Hon. Mwigulu Nchemba (center), Inspector General of Police Ernest Mangu (right), UONGOZI Institute CEO Prof. Joseph Semboja (second from left) and Aalto University Executive Education (Aalto EE), Programme Director Kirsi Gylden (left) brandish a guidebook of the newly launched Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership. 

Minister of State in the President’s Office for Public Service Management and Good Governance, Hon. Angellah Kairuki (MP), officially launched the new UONGOZI Institute Executive Programme: ‘Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership’  which aims to strengthen the pertinent leadership skills required for senior government leaders in Tanzania and Africa as a whole.

The launch, which took place at the Treasury Office in Dodoma was also graced by the Minister for Home Affairs, Hon. Mwigilu Nchemba (MP), Permanent Secretary for the President’s Office, Public Service Management and Good Governance, Dr. Laurian Ndumbaro, Deputy Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Home Affairs, Amb. Yahya Simba, and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ernest Mangu.

The Executive Programme, which is organised by UONGOZI Institute in collaboration with the Aalto University Executive Education (Aalto EE) of Finland started the academic year for 2017/2018 this month with the admission of 30 senior members from the Tanzania Police Force.

Senior officials of the Tanzanian Police Force attend one of the first classes of the Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership executive programme recently launched in Dodoma.

Speaking during the launch, Hon. Kairuki thanked UONGOZI Institute for collaborating with Aalto EE, Finland in pioneering this programme which is specifically designed to allow public servants to study while on the job as it only requires the student to be physically in class for a period of 2-3 days a month, while the rest of the programme is carried out online and through take home assignments.

“This is a very significant programme for public servants because; one, public servants do not need to leave their jobs nor country of residence to access it; two, public servants are granted with high-quality education in key areas of leadership; and three, public servants are awarded with a Diploma which is internationally recognized,” said Hon. Kairuki.

Hon. Kairuki also highlighted the importance of public servants to participate in short and long-term training such as the new executive programme launched by UONGOZI Institute, pointing out that passing through formal education in leadership is also a determinant that can make you a good leader.

On his part, IGP Ernest Mangu thanked UONGOZI Institute for accepting his training request and allowing 30 senior members of the police force to be the maiden class of the Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership programme.

Hon. Kairuki and dignitaries in a group photo with senior officials of the Tanzania Police Force, the first batch of the PgD in Leadership 2017/18

“We believe that this Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership will have a positive effect in our operations, improve how we run the Police Force as an organization and in return allow us to effectively protect our citizens, their properties, as well as to reduce the level of crime in the country,” said IGP Mangu.

Giving the vote of thanks, Minister of Home Affairs Hon. Mwigulu Nchemba also applauded UONGOZI Institute and Aalto University, Finland for the unique initiative.

The post-graduate programme has been designed specifically for senior leaders, and will be undertaken for the period of one year through 10 short modules targeting both personal and organisational attributes of leadership. The modules will be facilitated by seasoned instructors from Aalto University Executive Education as well as reputable instructors from institutions across Tanzania.

“The programme will help leaders understand the current forces shaping our world, help them make strategic choices and equip them with the proper knowledge to lead people and manage resources, as well as to excel in personal qualities,” said the CEO of UONGOZI Institute Prof. Joseph Semboja.

The first batch of post-graduate students are expected to graduate in March 2018.

Young and emerging leaders convene on Africa’s development and the SDGs


Over 150 young and emerging leaders from across Africa participated in the African Youth Dialogue, a forum to deliberate on Africa’s development and the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on the continent.

The dialogue, which took place at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Center in Dar es Salaam on Thursday, 6th April, 2017 was launched by the Deputy Minister for Health, Community Development, Women and Children Hon. Dr. Hamis Kigwangalla (MP) on behalf of the Vice-President of the United Republic of Tanzania H.E Samia Suluhu Hassan.

“Usually, when youth are gathered to discuss development issues facing the continent, they are discussed in the context of the youth as a burden or a blessing. The youth are sometimes framed as a problem, or indeed the problem, that we as a continent must somehow solve together,” said Hon. Dr. Kigwangalla.

He continued, “Today, however, this will not be the case. Today, the youth are an equal and active stakeholder within Africa’s development question…this is an opportunity for youth to share their experiences and their solutions to the development challenges and opportunities that youth are experiencing, and to build networks to implement sustainable solutions.”

The dialogue, which consisted of young leaders between the ages of 18 – 35 was structured around social, economic, environmental and governance pillars. The discussions centered on how the Continent’s youth perceive Africa’s development aspirations, and how these overlap with the SDGs – where there are similarities, and where there are differences.

The event highlighted how youth can enhance, support, and lead sustainable solutions to the development challenges faced on the continent. Participants were picked from different sectors who have been active in promoting the development agenda in their respective countries and Africa at large.

In her keynote address, the President of the Pan-African Youth Union, Ms. Francine Muyumba, said that the future of the continent depended on African youth, and their willingness to come together in addressing the challenges facing the continent.

“As young people, we all have a significant role to play to make the SDGs a success in Africa. We need to rally together our ideas and work hand in hand with our governments to bring about positive change to our respective countries and to Africa as a whole,” she said, “our achievements will therefore pave the way for the better implementation of Agenda 2063 of the African Union.”

The  Minister for Empowerment, Adults, Youth, Women and Children of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar. Hon. Maudline Castico (MP), who officially closed the dialogue, motivated the youth to stay connected with each other and to keep pursuing their leadership goals until they achieve them.

“With love, faith and patience, you can achieve your leadership goals,” she said.

Hon. Castico also highlighted that, “youth are key partners in Africa’s development. Young people must be given opportunities to participate as respective partners in decision making and action at all levels, grassroots and so on.”

Meanwhile, the CEO of UONGOZI Institute, Prof. Joseph Semboja said that the youth have critical roles and responsibilities in implementing the SDGs and realising the type of development we want for our continent.

To tackle the challenges facing Africa, Prof. Semboja said in his remarks, “We need an agenda that says I want to be an African. The problem is that we do not see our identity as an issue. We need a common identity.”


Participants from the youth dialogue were gathered from 29 different countries, which include; Benin, South Africa, South Sudan, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana, Mauritius, Madagascar, Liberia, Tunisia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Egypt, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Namibia, Sudan, Swaziland, Algeria, Senegal, Morocco, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania as the host.