African Leadership


Political leadership in Africa is still developing just as mostAfrican nations are referred to as developing countries. Manychallenges bar African leadership ranging from corruption, widespreadun-education among leaders and low female representation in politics.Most of the leaders that fight to become politicians do so withinterior motives. They are mainly after their personal development ofgaining more wealth, securing employment for their family members andprotecting wealth the wealth, which they might have acquiredillegally. This explains why political leadership is characterized bycorruption and an increasing class division between ordinarycivilians and those individuals in position of power.

Most controversial in African leadership is women involvement inpolitics. Up to the 1990s, it was impossible for women to vie forpresidency in any African nation. In fact, there were few womeninvolved in politics as at the twentieth century (Tripp, 2001). Thefigure of African female politicians has enhanced remarkably from the1990s. As at 2001, women representation in political positions hadincreased significantly (Tripp, 2001). However, women still facenumerous challenges when venturing into a political career. First,there is a high male political population that is able to discouragethe efforts of women political leaders. Corruption is also widespreadand women are still to experience major payoffs in the figure offemales chosen or elected to political offices (Tripp, 2001).

The movies watched in class feature three African leaders and makeclear their different political motives. The leaders are presidentsin their Nations, and through the movies, it becomes possible todetermine the good model leader for African nations. The videos alsoenhance knowhow on already acquired political leadership in Africannations. In “Liberia’s Sirleaf: Reform in Africa” the moviefeatures a female African president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. The movierefers to the president as an African iron woman. She is among themany African women leaders that have made efforts in transforming thepolitical leadership of African nations. She is the first woman tobecome a government leader in Africa, and demonstrates a personalcommitment at improving the lives of Liberia’s civilians. The videois the perfect illustration of a good model of African nations.

In “President Jammeh receives Commonwealth Election Observer Team”Gambia is presented as a nation that has undergone various social aswell as political transformation since the takeover of the president.However, the speaker mainly focuses on praising the efforts that havebeen made by the president in conducting a peaceful election. Theobservers note that the Gambian elections have been a depiction ofintegrity, which represents the efforts of the nation towardsimproved integrity in all sectors. Other issues mentioned include thebehavior of security forces, which are depicted as remarkable. Thevideo does not represent a good model of an African leader, ratherfocuses on praising the leadership of the president.

The movie “The Café –Kenya’s state of tribalism” evaluatesthe issue of tribalism in Kenya. Following the 2007 political turmoilresulting in clashes and murder among different Kenyan tribes, is amirror of widespread ethnicity in Kenyan leadership. The video makesapparent the foreseeable contributions by politicians to ensure thatKenya heals from the political violence and ensure that a repeat ofthe same is never experienced again. The issue of tribalism seems todate as far back as 1963, and the main tribes is a division betweenthe wealthy and the poor. The rich, mostly political leaders are ableto influence the poor, their followers, into engaging in conflict,which in turn results in gains that are more political forpoliticians and not civilians. The movie mainly focuses on thefailing political leadership, which has resulted in racial divides.The video does not represent a good model of African leadership,because leadership in the nation mirrors a selfish desire to dividecivilians among ethnic lines, for personal political objectives.

When compared to the latter two, the video on Liberia’s presidentis a good model of leadership needed in African nations. Africanleaders need to focus on the development of their countries andPresident Ellen illustrates how best to do so. During her time oftake over as president in Liberia, the nation was crumbling. Therewas widespread corruption, high unemployment and poor infrastructure.The country was broken, the economy was collapsed, and many civilianswere displaced, in addition to broken institutions. Following hertake over, she started out with a development agenda of four pillars.They involved peace and security, economic reform, governance and therule of law and infrastructure and basic service. Progress andchanges have been remarkable in all the pillars since President Ellenstarted implementation of her development agenda. There has beendevelopment in almost all sectors of the nation. Listening to themovie, it is apparent that the leader is focused on improving thelives of Liberians. She endeavors to build and develop a nation thatis characterized by increased growth, integrity, creating employment,freedom of speech and revitalizing the failed institutions. Someremarkable changes involve improving the capital city by providingservices like water, rebuilding learning institutions among otherdevelopments. Most important has been the restoration of hope amongLiberians.


Tripp, A. M. (2001). Women and democracy: The new political activismin Africa. Journal of Democracy, 12(3), 141-155.