Africa needs both “strong-men” and “strong institutions”

By Dr. Gwamaka Kifukwe

138464-Barack-Obama-Quote-Africa-doesn-t-need-strongmen-it-needs-strongOn the 11th of July, 2009, the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, on his first visit to Africa, addressed the Parliament of Ghana and boldly stated:

“Africa doesn’t need strong men, it needs strong institutions”

He was only partially correct. Africa needs both.

That African institutions are weak and need to be nurtured, is unquestionable – but who will develop and nurture them?

In a recent Meet the Leader interview with H.E. Yoweri Museveni argued that the leadership challenge in Africa differs from other parts of the world. Using a nautical metaphor, H.E. Museveni reasoned that while leaders elsewhere in the world are concerned with steering the ship through the stormy seas of change, African leaders are simultaneously building the ship. This is in part, due to African states being still relatively young – emerging only after 1957 (Ghana). It is no surprise that many African states emphasised ‘nation-building’ as the key domestic agenda following independence, in order to undo the deep damage that the colonial experience has done.

The French lawyer and philosopher, Montesqueiu (1689 – 1755), articulates the critical challenge that African states face:

“In the infancy of societies, the chiefs of state shape its institutions; later the institutions shape the chiefs of state”

In other words, Africa needs benevolent strong men in order to build the strong institutions. And by benevolent, I here refer to having the greater good of society at the fore of all of their thoughts and activities. Tragically in Africa, we are all-too-well acquainted with strong-men and -women whom are not benevolent.

Returning to President Obama, the United States of America, the ‘shiny beacon on the hill’, and bastion of the Republican values. The phrase ‘Republican values’ refers to the political ideology that advocates for a political system grounded by the rule of law, the rights of individuals, and the sovereignty of the people – as opposed to feudal monarchies and other political systems. Famously, the American revolution (1763 – 1783, with the Declaration of Independence made in 1776) was grounded on the principle of “No taxation, without representation” and the British American colonies rejecting the rule of the British Parliament without being able to send their own representatives.

However, often overlooked is the fact that the Declaration of Independence was drafted by a “Committee of Five”, consisting of John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, Robert R. Livingston of New York, and Roger Sherman of Connecticut. It was signed by a total fifty-six representatives from each of the thirteen colonies (with a population of roughly 2.5 Million citizens). The ‘American Revolution’ split communities between Loyalists (to the Crown of England) and Patriots (Colonists seeking independence). Since independence, America has had its fair share of strongmen (benevolent and otherwise) that have shaped the development of its present-day institutions. These have evolved as circumstances have changed, but the key early figures such as Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, James Madison, Thomas Paine, etc. remain relevant and influential to present day.

Africa is still seeking such benevolent strong men and women to establish, nurture, enhance, and tinker with our institutions. After all, this is the key responsibility and ‘deliverable’ of leaders and of leadership: adjusting our institutions to enable the advancement and prosperity of their societies, in the circumstances they find themselves in.

We have our liberation heroes, our Fathers of the Nation, and a few and other pillars of moral authority and champions of the African cause – however, it is no secret that we clamour for ‘the next generation’ that will deliver ‘Africa’s second liberation’. As long as our institutions remain fragile, we will continue to be more dependent on the benevolence of strong men and women to lend their strength to establishing the permanency of institutions, than for institutions to provide checks and balances to those intent on abusing their positions and abandoning their responsibilities. It is incumbent on our leaders of today and tomorrow, to keep this in mind if our development and transformation are to be successful and sustainable. This will take time.

The African Union recognised this under its third of seven aspirations of the ‘Agenda 2063’ – An African of good governance, democracy, respect for Human Rights, justice and the rule of law. And this challenge is not unique to Africa. Indeed, the Sustainable Development Goals recognise this challenge across the world under Goal 16 – Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions are all levels.

H.E. Museveni correctly summarises the leadership challenge facing Africa. The onus is on African citizens, and African political parties, to prepare and elect appropriate representatives that we believe can deliver sustainable solutions to the challenges facing the continent. These solutions in turn, will provide the foundations for the next generation of leaders to develop and guide as they encounter the emerging and future challenges of the future.



Finland and Tanzania Ink Agreements for Governance, Innovation and Forestry

On 30th November, 2017, the Tanzanian Government and Finnish Government inked three agreements with the value of 28.8 million Euros (approximately 75 billion Tanzanian shillings) for Innovation, Forestry and Good Governance projects in Tanzania.

Through the arrangement, the Government of Finland will provide 9.90 million Euros to support capacity building for public leaders through the UONGOZI Institute, 8.95 million Euros for innovation through the National Innovation System, and 9.95 million Euros for supporting the Forestry and Value Chains Development Programme.

Speaking after signing the agreements, the Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Dotto James, thanked the Government of Finland for the financial support, pointing further that it was not the first time Finland supports development programmes in Tanzania. According to the PS, the support to UONGOZI Institute will be useful in strengthening leadership and administration capacities in Tanzanian institutions, and eventually promote accountability and economic growth.

On his part, the Finnish Ambassador to Tanzania, Pekka Hukka, pointed out that Tanzania and Finland have had a long-standing relationship built on mutual respect. “Years of cooperation have resulted in strong bilateral relations as well as friendship between the civil societies and citizens of the two countries,” he explained.

Ambassador Hukka said the cooperation focuses on two goals; improving performance of the public sector in terms of economic governance and increasing opportunities for employment and livelihoods. He further pointed out that effective and inclusive institutions in addition to well-functioning public sector are important in order to achieve sustainable growth, poverty reduction and the rights of the citizens.

“Partnership for Sustainable Development” – The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Dotto James (right), and the Finnish Ambassador to Tanzania, Pekka Hukka (left), signing the agreements for Innovation, Forestry and Good Governance projects.


The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Dotto James (right), and the Finnish Ambassador to Tanzania, Pekka Hukka (left), exchanging the contracts.


“Now it is time for implementation” – The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Dotto James (right), and the Finnish Ambassador to Tanzania, Pekka Hukka (left), displaying signed contracts.


On the right, the CEO of UONGOZI Institute, Prof. Joseph Semboja, thanking the Government of Finland for supporting sustainable development and poverty eradication in Tanzania and Africa. On the left, the Finnish Ambassador to Tanzania, Pekka Hukka.


A group photo after signing the agreements.


Photo credits: Communications Unit at the Ministry of Finance and Planning.

African Delegates Convene to Discuss Value Addition in the Extractive Sector in Africa

Photo: TanzaniteOne

The Office of the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana in collaboration with UONGOZI Institute of the United Republic of Tanzania are co-organizing a two-day Regional Forum on “Enhancing Value Addition in the Extractive Sector in Africa”, in Accra, Ghana from the 4th to 5th of December, 2017.

The Forum will be officiated by the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E. Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia. At least seventy stakeholders and experts–from the public and private sector, academia and civil society–from the African region and other parts of the world are expected to participate.

The main objective of the Forum is to accelerate discussions on how African countries should position themselves to optimize benefits from the extractive sector through the implementation of value addition initiatives. Specifically, the Forum will focus on identifying areas along the value chain with greater potential for value addition in the extractive sector; public policy, legal and, regulatory environment for an integrated extractive industry within African countries; financing options; measures to encourage local business participation; technology and skills required; health, safety, security, and environmental considerations; and lessons learnt from a regional perspective.

During the two-days of the Forum, delegates will be able to share experiences and recommend effective approaches in encouraging value addition or processing in the extractive sector. A summary of the key outcomes is anticipated to inform the implementation of value addition initiatives in Africa.

An inconvenient truth about leadership: loneliness

By Dr. Gwamaka Kifukwe

Blog Today
Image: Kashak/

While filming an episode of UONGOZI Institute’s flagship TV show (Meet the Leader), an interesting epiphany occurred. The interview turned from reflecting the guest’s understanding and experience of leadership, to learning about the guest as a person. A simple, yet direct question was asked – “We have heard about you, as the leader and President. Tell me about you as a father, and husband, and a friend?”

The guest paused for a few moments. Their face changed, shoulders slumped, they leaned forward and their hands came together as they took on an almost prayer-like pose. After a few seconds, a heavy sigh escaped the guest’s now frowning lips and a melancholy voice replied, “I could do better”. He proceeded to reflect on missed memories and the great extent he was reliant on his wife (of over thirty years) for a number of issues that “she didn’t sign up for”.

Up until that point, this guest had been buoyant, charming, witty and very sharp in their critique of leadership, drawing upon years of experience and hinting at a wide breadth of reading. This answer was different. The guest went on to recall how being in leadership had come at a huge personal sacrifice; the inability to be a ‘normal’ father and husband. He went on to explain how he missed several (if not all) “firsts” and that upon reflection, he had taken his family for granted and missed being able to switch off and just be himself from time to time.

Leadership is undoubtedly a privilege and a huge responsibility. As people aspire to be leaders, we often think of the glamourous public appearances, the power, and the prestige. Less is thought of basic issues that confront us all as human beings. Being parents, for example. Going on dates, going to watch the latest movie, attending a concert, or just heading out to dance the night away. All of these avenues are closed to people we increasingly de-humanise as they approach the ‘top of the ladder’ and make our leaders more symbol than person.

Leadership is an incredibly lonely experience. In doing back-ground research ahead of interviews and speaking to people close to the distinguished guests of the programme, a few stories seem to repeat themselves. One typical story is how senior officials and individuals have been called, late into the night, to the Executive. Usually this is to their official residence, sometimes to the Office itself. Upon arrival, the anxious (and tired) official is invited to sit, and watch a local football match, or documentary, as the Executive shares their thoughts. There is no agenda. There are no minutes. Often, there aren’t even any assistants present either – from time to time, it seems, the person escapes the symbol only to find that it has no-where to turn to.

Leadership is a great sacrifice. We are social creatures by nature and by habit. As people emerge as leaders, we increasingly deny them the opportunity to ‘be human’ and to take up a ‘greater calling’. This comes at the price of the things we take for granted as part of a ‘normal’ life. How then, can we expect our leaders to be able to relate to and understand the highs and lows of our life. They become increasingly dependent on others for information and insight. This is the classic tension between the leader and their lieutenants: The leader is reliant on the lieutenants to execute their directives and to provide feedback; the lieutenants in turn are reliant on the leader to be appointed into positions of authority in order to exercise power. In such a scenario, it is easy to see how paranoia and sycophancy embed themselves.

In preparing for leadership, we must equip aspirants with the ability to understand, accept, and deal with these so-called ‘soft’ issues. Dealing with celebrity and fame has been a challenge for many without the proper guidance and preparation for the pressures that this entails. This even more acute when your every movement and decision can literally change people’s lives and impact their long-term prosperity.

Perhaps these structures are already in place in some arenas of leadership, and we in the general public are not privy them. However, it is clear from having carried out a number of interviews that if they exist, they have been an afterthought. Moreover, the inclusion of these more personal challenges, leadership training programmes for young and emerging leaders have increasingly incorporated reflection, emotional and psychological training and support, as well as coaching into their programmes. In addition, acknowledging potential sacrifices and settling these in our personal relations and marriages ahead of time is also encouraged so that at the end of the day, there is some kind of ‘normal’ to return to when the mantle of leadership is passed on.

Coming back to the leader in question. After a few minutes of very candid reflection and catharsis, his earlier posture, and his jovial self-returned back to the fore. The symbol once-again replaced the person. The show went on.

This part of the interview was never aired.



By Dr. Gwamaka Kifukwe

Regional Intergration

With a visit to the East African Community (EAC) headquarters or browsing of their materials you will quickly encounter the EAC’s ambitious slogan; ‘One People, One Destiny’. The motto encapsulates the essence of integration – the increased interlinking and interdependence of economies, communities, and (most importantly of all) people. Since its re-establishment in 1999, the community has moved quickly to expand from its original three member-states, to its current six member-states – Burundi (2007), Kenya (1999), Rwanda (2007), South Sudan (2016), Tanzania (1999), and Uganda (1999).  In more technical terms, the EAC has already achieved the East African Customs Union, the establishment of the Common Market (2010) and the implementation of the East African Monetary Union Protocol. In the academic literature, these are seen as stepping stones on the way to full political federation – which remains a way off yet.

However, integration must be more than linking people abstractly and intellectually, it must be based on linking people. Personal relations can have a long-lasting effect on integration as mutual understanding grows from personal exchange. It is only by mingling with our neighbours that we learn about them, learn about their circumstances and environment, learn to trust them, and eventually learn to love them. As borders have opened up, however, initiatives to encourage personal connections have not been at the fore as the ‘One People, One Destiny’ mantra might at first suggest. The EAC (and the member states) must do more to encourage interaction and exchange among people, not just in economic, intellectual, and political areas.

One way of doing this is to encourage and enable young East Africans to travel across the region for free, or at nominal cost. The benefits of travel to an individual are too many to name, and each individual experiences travel differently. However, expanding horizons, giving people an opportunity to gain perspective, and to meet new friends, colleagues, and partners. Not to mention, giving our young people exposure to the great African spaces where the wildlife and natural wonders of the continent rule would foster a greater awareness of how precious our resource wealth is.

A good example of this is seen in the ‘Interrail’ initiative in Europe. Interrail was established in 1972 as a scheme to tempt young people to explore Europe and interact with each other. In other words, to give young Europeans the chance to raise their European awareness. Initially twenty-one countries took part in the scheme (which has expanded to thirty), which allowed youth aged 21 and below to travel freely across the participating states with the purchase of a 27 GBP pass. The scheme and pass have evolved, but remain in place today with the same purpose of enabling Europeans to explore their shared space, and develop a sense of ‘one people, one destiny’.

As we progress towards political federation and become ‘one people’, a similar scheme could have huge positive impacts on fostering understanding and trust, the foundations for peaceful co-existence. In addition, with the world’s economic structures shifting towards ‘shared’ and ‘knowledge’ economies, the networks and perspectives will empower young people to look beyond difference as a challenge, and treat it as an asset. Many people – young people in particular – are already linking through social media and other virtual/online ways. This too is positive, but there is simply no substitute for person to person sharing to truly encourage deeper appreciation and understanding of each other. When our people are able to work together and appreciate our diversity, this will unleash the creativity and innovation the region, and indeed the African continent more generally, need to in order to provide African solutions to African problems.

The expanding infrastructure that the member-states and the EAC Secretariat are undertaking and committed to are very welcome. Indeed, they are pre-requisites for industrialisation and structural transformation. However, the social dimension of integration must also be harnessed if the region is to truly flourish – and active and progressive initiatives such as the Interrail in Europe, would go a long way to complement the efforts being carried out by our leaders.

In order for this to work, travel must be affordable and the restrictions minimised for young people to be able to take advantage of this. This opportunity should be open to all citizens of the EAC member-states regardless of income, otherwise it will be limited to the privileged few who can already afford to travel. And while our rail networks may not yet be up to the task, we can consider an intra-regional coach or bus pass, or special fares on flights for young people signed up to such a scheme. States could provide subsidies for a number of passes per member state, per year channelled through the EAC Secretariat or responsible ministries of member states, or through Ministries responsible for culture or youth.

The barriers to travel, are also barriers to us becoming one people, and therefore sharing one destiny. As hundreds of thousands of Europeans have had the privilege and opportunity to experience in Europe, we should enable and encourage hundreds of thousands of East Africans to do the same in East Africa. In this way, we can truly appreciate the vast opportunities that the opening of borders presents to us as individuals and as societies on the path towards greater regional integration.

Will Industrialisation mean the end of ‘African-ness’?

by Dr. Gwamaka Kifukwe

One of the core characteristics of what we know as ‘African-ness’ or ‘being African’, is how we relate to our families. In sociology, anthropology and ethnography, this is broadly captured in the concept called ‘Kinship’. It describes a set of relationships within a broader appreciation of who is, and who is not a member of the ‘family’, as well as what the obligations are for each kin to each other. This is often portrayed in contrast to the concept of the ‘nuclear family’ (defined as a couple and their dependent children), which is the basis for many social units in social sciences. These two concepts differ both in the number and type of the social obligations that the members have towards each other. Historically, the trend has been for societies that undergo industrialisation to shift from (broadly-speaking) kinship configurations to nuclear family configurations. If this trend continues in Africa, one of the core characteristics of the Continent is on the verge of being altered beyond recognition.

In terms of development, many of the social sciences associate ‘kinship’ with what are called ‘pre-industrial’ societies. These are societies that have not yet industrialised, often this includes ‘peasant societies’ – as may be the case of Tanzania. Nyerere did after-all proclaim Tanzania as a ‘Nation of Peasants’ and developed the Ujamaa system and philosophy by combining African patterns of kinship, with Marxist-Leninist, and later Maoist, theory. Peasant societies are characterised by kinship because most economic-activity is ‘home-based’ and social-welfare services are provided for by the extended family. Typically, this is caused by the close inter-dependence of households in communities that are not well-linked to other communities and indeed the rest of the world. This pattern is not exclusively African, and is well documented in pre-industrial Europe and Asia.

Sociologists have noted that with industrialisation, there is a strong tendency towards the ‘nuclear family’. On the surface, this does not appear too threatening to our understanding of ‘African-ness’. In industrialisation, the home-based economic activities are not able to compete with the mechanisation (using machines to increase output/productivity) that takes place in industrialisation through powered machinery – initially this happened with steam in the ‘Industrial Revolution’. As a result, people shifted from their various activities and interdependencies and became wage-earners. The life-style of wage-earners had profound impacts on the inter-dependencies within families as the time spent apart created increasing social distances, and the lure of wage-earning dis-incentivise some of the broader social-welfare activities that are included in our kinship framework . These include taking care of the elderly, of the sickly, of children, and so forth – as economists refer to them; the ‘economically in-active’. Increasingly the state was called-upon to provide social welfare in various forms, paid for by the taxation of wages of the wage-earners. This is likely going to be the case in Africa, unless we deliberately shape our institutions (policies, laws, regulations, etc.) to accommodate our kinship roles and responsibilities.

In addition to the above, industrialisation has led to increased specialisation of skills, which has in turn tended towards meritocracy – when leadership, prestige, and advancement is on the basis of ability. This later development in how social status is achieved and advanced meant that youth were less dependent on their family for social statues and increasingly by their association within the broader community, particularly of peers within their vocation. Moreover, with increased specialisation, where one works and earns their wage is no longer tied to the locality whether their extended family may be located. Nuclear families, which are smaller, are easier to move – this is called increased ‘geographic mobility’ in social sciences terminology – which in turn adds yet another barrier (distance) to kinship, in favour of the nuclear family.

As a result, as the late American sociologist William J. Goode (who served as the 63rd President of the American Sociological Association) argued, the maintenance of broader family ties (kinship) are increasingly subject to a type of ‘cost-benefit’ analysis for people’s development. In other words, broader families could fluctuate between being assets or burdens to an individual’s prosperity, or the prosperity of their nuclear family. Kinship ties, become replaced by ties to work-places and to the ‘new’ communities that families find themselves in. Most strikingly this is observed in the cultures, values, and attitudes between rural and urban communities, even within the same broader family – especially in the generations that are born and grow up in these different settings, compared to those who move from one to the other. These changes are gradual for each individual family, but there appears to be generational changes that can be quite sharp – this has been noted in the West through generational identities such as the ‘Silent Generation’ (born in 1920s to the early-to-mid 1940s); ‘Baby Boomers’ (born between early 1940s and to early 1960s); ‘Generation X’ (those born from the mid-1960s to the early 1980s); and ‘Millennials’ (born between the mid-1980s and the early 2000s). Such detailed studies have not been carried out in Africa, but anecdotally we are aware of the ‘pre-Independence’, ‘post-independence’, ‘structural adjustment’ and ‘millennial’ generations in our society. These are also compounded by the existence of the Diaspora – which this essay will not explore. This pattern is not limited to Europe and Africa, which is the typical comparison. The transformation of China, particularly under Deng Xiaoping, and the evolution of Singapore under Lee Kuan Yew provide similar examples of the social implications for transformation through industrialisation.

As Africa increasingly industrialises, and urbanises (with more people living in urban areas compared to rural areas), this pattern is likely to repeat itself – if history is any indicator to go by. As with all social processes, this will not be the same across Africa, as it has not been the identical around the world. It may be the case that ‘kinship’ is much more resilient in Africa, relative to the rest of the world, and this would somehow be reflected in the type of social-welfare models, in the types of housing units, and in the type of social spaces that will emerge as Africa industrialises. Or, it may be the case that ‘kinship’ – such a strong characteristic of what defines ‘African-ness’ – may also collapse and be replaced by something ‘new’ that is differently African.

Some of the changes outlined are already happening across the continent, and are most noticeable between different generations. Understanding the social changes that are the consequence of industrialisation is critical to guiding what kind of society, indeed what kind of Africa, we want to emerge. The title of the piece hints that unless we take purposeful action, industrialisation could spell the end of ‘African-ness’ as we know it. We either accept this, encourage this, or seek ways to preserve and modernise kinship to the realities that industrialisation will usher in.

Hon. Angellah Kairuki (MP): Strengthening leadership capacities critical to the success of development plans

Board launchA critical component for the success of national and continental development plans will be the ability of leadership to provide guidance through the transitions that have to be made, said Hon. Angellah Kairuki (MP), Minister of State for the President’s Office, Public Service Management and Good Governance.

Hon. Kairuki made the statement at the launch of the new Board of Directors for UONGOZI Institute, the institute housed under the President’s Office which is mandated to develop the leadership competencies of leaders from the public sector and beyond.

“Supporting leaders and preparing leaders to face development challenges is what is expected of UONGOZI Institute,” said Hon. Kairuki, “we are confident that this new Board will steer the Institute in carrying out its mandate, and realizing its vision of a prosperous, equitable and sustainable Africa.”

This is the second group of Board of Directors for UONGOZI Institute, that has been operational since July 2010. The new Board of Directors were appointed by President John Pombe Maghufuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, on 31st May, 2017.

The newly appointed Board of Directors include Amb. Kari Alanko (Chair), Finland’s Ambassador to South Africa; Prof. Idris Kikula, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dodoma (UDOM); Dr. Laurean Ndumbaro, Permanent Secretary, President’s Office, Public Service Management and Good Governance; Dr. Stergomena Tax, Executive Secretary of the Southern African Development Community (SADC); Prof. Penina Mlama, Professor at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM); Dr. Cristina Duarte, Former Minister of Finance, Planning and Public Administration – Cape Verde; Ms. Iina Soiri, Director of the Nordic Africa Institute – Sweden; and Mr. David Walker, Former Director of the European School of Administration – United Kingdom.

On his part, the CEO of UONGOZI Institute, Prof. Joseph Semboja said that thus far, the Institute has succeeded in laying a solid foundation to become a renowned centre of excellence in leadership development for Africa.

“Over 1700 leaders have been trained, over 70 courses have been delivered for leaders, an internationally recognized post-graduate diploma programme on leadership is being offered in collaboration with Aalto University Executive Education in Finland, and over 40 high level policy forums and roundtable discussions have been organized, many with regional and international participation,” outlined Prof. Semboja, among other achievements of the Institute.

Going forward, Hon. Angellah Kairuki expressed that the outlook seems positive.

 “I believe that UONGOZI Institute has a lot of exciting and challenging work ahead, and for this, it has the Government of Tanzania’s full support,” said Hon. Kairuki.

District Commissioners and District Executive Directors from the Southern Highlands participate in Leadership Programme

Hon. Selemani Jafo (MP), Deputy Minister for the President’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Government addresses over 72 DCs and DEDs at the opening ceremony for a Leadership Programme organised by PO-RALG and UONGOZI Institute
Prof. Joseph Semboja, CEO, UONGOZI Institute giving his welcoming remarks
Hon. Selemani Jafo (MP) in discussion with Deputy Permanent Secretary for Health, PO-RALG, Dr. Zainabu Chaula
District Commissioner, Kinondoni, Ally Happi, delivers a Vote of Thanks for the Guest of Honour during the opening ceremony of the Training Programme for DCs and DEDs from the Southern Highlands
Hon. Selemani Jafo (MP), Deputy Minister, PO-RALG with Dr. Zainabu Chaula, Deputy Permanent Secretary, PO-RALG on his left and Prof. Joseph Semboja, CEO, UONGOZI Institute on his right, posing with staff members from UONGOZI Institute and the facilitator of the training module on Emotional Intelligence, Ms. Zuhura Muro (top centre)


Over seventy-two District Commissioners and District Executive Directors from the Southern Highland Zone began a one-week Leadership Programme on Monday, 11 September, organised by the President’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Government in collaboration with UONGOZI Institute.

This is the third group of DCs and DEDs that have participated in the Programme, with the aim of training all DCs and DEDs from mainland Tanzania by the end of the year in order to improve their leadership competencies.

So far, 148 DCs and DEDs have been trained in two zones.  This third phase will train DCs and DEDs from the Southern Highlands Zone covering the regions of Mbeya, Iringa, Rukwa, Njombe, Ruvuma, Songwe, Shinyanga and Dar es Salaam.

The opening ceremony of for the Leadership Programme was officiated by Hon. Selemani Jafo, Deputy Minister for the President’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Government. In his opening remarks, he emphasised the need for DCs and DEDs to implement their duties effectively in order meet the expectations of the general public who rely on them to deliver tangible results in this fifth-phase Government.

Hon. Jafo further directed the leaders to ensure that they comply with the Procedures, Public Service Regulations and Principles in place while bearing in mind the existing administrative boundaries, stressing the need for the improvement of workplace relations.

“Through this training, it is my belief that we will all have a common understanding of how to work strategically towards bringing about the development required by citizens, as you will have a better understanding of how the Governement operates, bearing in mind the boundaries in place, separation of duties and protocols, as well as the level of confidentiality and ethics required of public officials,” stated Deputy Minister Jafo.

According to the CEO of UONGOZI Institute, Prof. Joseph Semboja, the objective of the training is to enhance key leadership competencies of the DCs and DEDs in making strategic choices, leading people and managing other resources and excelling in personal leadership qualities.

“The leadership programme focuses on issues related to good governance, ethics, integrity and anti-corruption; issues affecting collaboration among government leaders; and the importance of personal leadership and emotional intelligence in their leadership roles,” said Prof. Semboja.

The fourth and final stage of the Leadership Programme for over 100 DCs and DEDs who have not yet participated in the Programme is expected to be undertaken in December, 2017.

The African Leadership Forum 2017: Promoting peace and security for an integrated, united and sustainable Africa

ALF LogoThe fourth African Leadership Forum, an annual event convened by H.E. Benjamin Mkapa, former President of Tanzania was held in Johannesburg  from the 24th – 25th of August, 2017. With the theme of “Peace and Security for an Integrated, United and Sustainable Africa”, this year the Forum was co-convened by H.E. Mkapa and H.E. Thabo Mbeki, former President of South Africa. The organisation of the Forum was managed by the Thabo Mbeki Foundation and UONGOZI Institute, and was supported by the Wits School of Governance, South Africa.

The African Leadership Forum brings together Former Heads of State as well as leaders from all sectors across Africa to discuss pressing issues affecting Africa’s sustainable development endeavors.

Peace and security in Africa is of great concern not only because of the fatal consequences that result from its absence but because much of Africa shall continue to be very poor without sustained peace and security. Further, to achieve the goals of effective integration, unity and sustainable development within and amongst African nations, it is fundamental that there is peace and security.

The Forum sought to understand what the persistent challenges to peace and security are, and to deliberate on what are some of the feasible solutions.

Seven former African Heads of State were in attendance, including H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria, H.E. Bakili Muluzi, former President of Malawi; H.E. Mohamed Moncef Marzouki, former President of Tunisia; H.E. Jakaya Kikwete, former President of Tanzania; and H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, former President of Somalia. The Forum was also attended by over 100 key African leaders and thinkers that are currently or had previously worked on issues of peace and security.

The Forum, which took place over one and a half days, consisted of a plenary session with a Keynote Address from H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria followed by a panel discussion on ‘Cementing Foundations for Sustainable Peace and Security’. Two other panel discussions were held on the first day, with one on ‘Moving Towards Inclusiveness’ and the second on ‘Good Governance and the Rule of Law’.

The public plenary panel discussion on ‘Cementing Foundations for Sustainable Peace and Security’ included H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, H.E. Moncef Marzouki of Tunisia, Hon. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Deputy Prime Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of Namibia; Prof. Funmi Olonisakin, Director of the African Leadership Centre, King’s college, London; and Mr. Francois Louceny Fall, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Central Africa.

The panel focused on the common foundations of peace and security and how to cement them for the attainment of overall peace across the continent; what some of the achievements have been, some of the drawbacks, and what initiatives need to be reassessed to ascertain their effectiveness in enabling and supporting lasting peace and security in Africa.

The second panel discussion on ‘Moving Towards Inclusiveness’ had H.E. Thabo Mbeki of South Africa; H.E. Bakili Muluzi of Malawi; Ms. Abbey Chikane, Chair of Sub Sahara Investment Holdings and former Chair of the Kimberley Process; and Mr. Ayabongwa Cawe, Economic Justice Programme Manager at Oxfam South Africa  as panelists.

This panel discussed how inequalities and exclusions have been the root of many conflicts across the continent, and how economic exclusion fails to provide equal economic opportunities in terms of employment and access to financial products and services, which can alienate people from their broader society and cause preventable tensions that may escalate to become conflicts, and thus inhibit peace.

The fourth panel on ‘Good Governance and the Rule of Law’ included H.E. Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania; H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of Somalia; Hon. Justice Bart M. Katureebe, Chief Justice of Uganda; and Hon. Roger Nkodo Dang, President of the Pan African Parliament.

The panel discussed the ideal of good governance as it relates to Africa, and how it may be difficult to achieve in its entirety, as it is all encompassing, including characteristics such as adherence to the rule of law, transparency, responsiveness, consensus building, equity and inclusiveness, effectiveness and efficiency, accountability, and participation. As the absence of one or more of these characteristics can sometimes lead to tensions, the panel discussed how best to uphold good governance and the rule of law in Africa in order to promote sustainable peace and security.

On the second day, H.E. Thabo Mbeki began with a presentation on ‘Africa’s Position in the Global Peace and Security Architecture’ which was followed by two breakout sessions chaired by H.E. Benjamin Mkapa and H.E. Moncef Marzouki on ‘International Factors Shaping Peace and Security Responses’ and Aligning National, Continental and International Peace and Security Frameworks’ respectively, and culminated with the closing plenary.

Below is a summary, with recommendations, of the Statement of the Forum:

In the wake of increasing global security concerns, Africa cannot afford to be a bystander in its development trajectory at the expense of its sustainability nor a global player with divided interests that are of little benefit to the people of the continent.  In the words of former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, Africa needs to ensure that it has “the capacity to manage conflict…and must rely less on peacekeepers from outside.  We need less politics and more altruistic governments; African Solutions to African Problems.”

It is in the interests of the continent to unite and re-establish a stronger continental commitment to the African Renaissance, economically, politically and socially.  To accomplish that vision and make it a reality, we need continental leadership, governments, civil society and African business to place the well-being of the people of this continent at the forefront of their endeavours.  African development and sustainability depends on the cooperative, responsible and accountable efforts of all those who live within its precinct, and contribute towards its development.

We call upon African leadership at all levels to advocate for stronger national and regional institutions to protect the continent, for they are imperative.  We ask that the African commerce and development sectors commit to the developmental and financial sustainability of our institutions of governance to ensure the continent’s inclusive economic development and guardianship of its growing adherence to good governance.

The responsibility of good governance is the duty of all those who live and do business in the continent and in the words of former President of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, “the commitment of African political leadership to this end should serve as an example to the people of the continent.”

Furthermore in Kikwete’s words, “it is important for Africa to remember to look at where we come from and where we are and to continue to say there has been progress.  We are not yet at the most optimal point, but we should not get to a point where we say everything in Africa is bad; because there are so many good things happening.  The pursuit of good governance is a work in progress”.

There is a need for this ‘work in progress’ to translate into an increasingly African way of doing that is rooted in African culture.

It is thus that the delegates of the African Leadership Forum ask that Africans renew their commitment to the continent with the following recommendations:

  • Africa should hear its own voice on matters of peace, security and sustainable development through increased and improved national dialogue; and by taking ownership of its peace and security concerns in matters of policy and political interventions.
  • Africa should shape the dialogue around the continent’s vision and create its own roadmap for sustained peace and stability. It should communicate with a unified voice, working on behalf of its own interests and the interests of its people for inclusive economic development and a growing adherence towards good governance.
  • Africa should insist on taking its rightful position at the forefront of defining Africa’s role in the global peace and security architecture, by providing decisive and purposeful political leadership on international matters pertaining to Africa.
  • Africa must resist the increasing militarisation of Africa’s peace and security architecture, especially relating to arms trade, terrorism, and the tendency of allowing managers of the African security sector to be trained by outsiders with external agendas.
  • African citizens should strive to develop a strong democratic consciousness that will lead to a culture of growing leadership, deepening democracy and enhancing civic education. This vision of Africans shaping their personal and collective destiny must be taken forward by Africa’s most valuable asset: its youth.

After supporting the organization of the African Leadership Forum for four years, UONGOZI Institute is pleased with the outcome of the ALF 2017. This meeting, in particular, has generated a lot of discussion in Tanzania, South Africa, Nigeria and beyond.

It is important to note that the ALF 2017 focused on the bigger picture issues of peace and security that affect the African continent which each country can draw lessons from. No special attention was paid to any particular country or government, and the recommendations that ultimately came out of the Forum reflected the same. It is therefore cautioned, that the rich discussion that took place at the African Leadership Forum 2017, and the statements made by the former Presidents and other participants in attendance should not be taken out of context.

The plenary session of the ALF 2017 is currently available to view on UONGOZI Institute’s website: The subsequent panel discussions will be made available on our website soon.