Former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan has charged African leaders to work towards enhancing the welfare of their people, particularly the youth, in order to ensure growth and development.
According to him, the bane of most African countries is that they lack quality leadership.
He made this known on Thursday in a lecture dubbed “An afternoon with Kofi Annan.”
The lecture, themed “leadership and public service” was organized by the old students of Mfantsipim College to fashion out a new path to leadership and public service.
“No society can long prosper without respect for the rule of law and human rights. The key to our continent’s ability to chart the turbulent waters ahead will be the quality of our leadership. Africa needs courageous persistent and compassionate leaders who will tap into the continents vitality to create a better future,” he said.
“We need true democratic leaders who understand that they are at the service of the citizens and not the other way around. Leadership is service. Leaders must understand that they hold power in trust of the people and it can also be taken away.”
“Unfortunately, Africa has had too few of enlightened people of this kind. Part of the problem is that many countries have for too long invested too much power and hope in strong presidents. Others have been misled by leaders who use this argument to prolong their stay in office often” he noted.
Kofi Annan called on African leaders to always listen to their people, saying that “A leader must listen…A good leader must also be a good follower. When leaders fail to lead, the people lead the leader follows.”
He also called for strong institutions, saying: We also need to think beyond the state. Strong businesses, strong civil societies to hold governments to the promises they make to the people will be just as important.”