The Quest for Effective Leadership In Afrika

Green Ankh blog

The People Deserve …

Part 1: Leadership in crisis

We can debate unto infinity about the impact and value of Afrikan leadership on the careworn citizens, all our debates and multi-levelled reasoning would lead us nowhere fast unless we can somehow find out from the led, or the ruled, just what makes them tick.

What makes other people leaders and others mere followers? There are historical, social, psychological as well as political reasons why some people say that the people deserve the leaders they get. In order to find out more about the relations between modern Afrikan peoples ad their leaders, among the questions we would ask are:

  • Are African’s a homogenous group of people?
  • Are we well suited for democratic socio-political frameworks?
  • Is there any strength that can be drawn from our diversity?
  • How many of us would prefer pre-colonial systems of leadership?
  • How much do we know about…

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RUFORUM: An Innovative Mechanism for engaging African Universities for Development

RUFORUM

Okori +Adipala

Prologue: The promise of Africa, as a vibrant strong player in the global economy, remains steadfast, especially, after an impressive 15-year period of steady economic growth. During that period, per capita GDP surged to an average of 3%. However, more recently, this remarkable upturn in the continent’s development fortunes, have diminished, raising concerns about Africa’s renaissance. Nevertheless,  the continent, through its vision 2063, the“ Africa We Want,” remains steadfast in its efforts to build a viable and prosperous home for her people and at the at the same time, contribute to the global economy.

 This grand vision for Africa, notwithstanding, requires that the fundamental levers for development be engaged. Agriculture is one of the fundamental levers needed to actualize Africa’s Vision 2063. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth originating in agriculture is twice as effective in benefiting the poorest half of a country’s population as growth generated in non-agricultural sectors…

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For the Love of African Writers Series

One of my favourite book titles must be Sembene Ousmane’s God’s Bits of Wood. It speaks poetically of the existential position of an embattled and suffering humanity. Ousmane deals most creatively with the lot of Afrikan people and the struggles we go through under various forms of colonialism.

I have read this novel, a very long time ago, during my formative years of being introduced to the awesomely endowed African Writers Series, a trademark of Heinemann, a division of Reed Publishing ( USA) Incorporated. To say that the African Writers Series and the Caribbean Writers Series is a treasure-trove would be an understatement, but I have yet to find the words to describe the wealth of knowledge and joy I have found in exploring all those stories from all over the Afrikan and Diasporic world.

I am about to re-read Sembene Ousmane’s God’s Bits of Wood, ( I aim to write at length about the literary and film works of this great Afrikan artist and prophet -)  and I am so excited. The blurb at the back reads:

“‘Eversince they left Thies, the women had not stopped singing. As soon as one group allowed the refrain to die, another picked it up, and new verses were born at the hazard of chance or inspiration, one word leading to another and each finding in its turn, its rhythm and its place. No one was very sure any longer where the song began, or if it had an ending. It rolled out over its own length, like the movement of a serpent. It was as long as a life.’

In 1947-8 the workers on the Dakar-Niger railway came out on strike. Sembene Ousmane, in thhis vivid and moving novel, evinces all of the colour, passion and tragedy of those decisive years in the history of West Africa.”

 

 

Apply Now: MCF@RUFORUM Scholarships 2018

RUFORUM

MCF@RUFORUM

Deadline Extension: 31 March 2018 

The Mastercard Foundation has partnered with the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), a network of 85 universities in 35 African countries. The partnership focuses on ‘Transforming African Agricultural Universities to meaningfully contribute to Africa’s growth and development’.

The aim of partnership is to transform African agricultural universities and their graduates to better respond to developmental challenges through enhanced application of science, technology, business and innovation for rural agricultural transformation.

Under this partnership, 110 Bachelor and 110 Master scholarships will be provided over a period of eight years. The scholarships target; academically deserving yet economically disadvantaged, marginalized communities and those coming from conflict and post conflict areas of Africa. The scholarships are tenable at Egerton University in Kenya and Gulu University in Uganda.

Students enrolled under this program will receive comprehensive scholarships, leadership development, life skills support, entrepreneurship training and…

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WORDS INSIDE: Books, Marginalia and Technology

Dr Shawn Naphtali Sobers' blog -------- thoughts, images and things.

Civil Society

Notes by the photographer
Reason: Studying for PhD
Published 2008, notes in same year

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Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Notes by photographer
Reason: Studying for PhD, logging quotes
Book purchased second hand, already contained some notes (not shown)

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Of Mice and Men

Inscription: ‘From Wendy, Christmas 1963′ (unknown)
Published 1963
Book owned by photographer
Found in parents’ house, presumed purchased second-hand

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Social Problems: A Modern Approach

Highlighted by unknown person
Published 1967
Book owned by photographer
Purchased second-hand circa 2004

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Alice in Wonderland / Through the Looking Glass

Inscription – 50p and 3/12
Book owned by photographer
Purchased in second-hand shop for 50p
Published 1963, purchased circa 2001

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The Doodle Book: Draw! Colour! Create!

Drawing by Mahalia Sobers, aged circa 3 years old
Reason: Fun

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Westward with Columbus

Scribble by unknown child
Published 1906
Owned by photographer
Purchased second-hand for 5p, circa 2002

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Dick Gregory – Nigger

Dr Shawn Naphtali Sobers' blog -------- thoughts, images and things.

In 1993 when I started my degree in Newport, I visited the university library to find some interesting books. This one caught my eye straight away. Seeing the title, I couldn’t believe it even existed, let alone be in my university library. Shock and awe is an understatement. I took out the book and must have renewed it about ten times.

A few weeks later I visited Bristol and went to a Black Writers meeting for the first time, run by Bertel Martin (the first time I met him and Edson Burton) at Kuumba Centre. I went for a drink with them and some of the others after the meeting in The Bank, (Stokes Croft), and I remember talking manically about this book like someone possessed. I guess I was possessed, as it was the first time I had read a book like that. It inspired me in more ways…

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Ancient Future Sounds

Knowledge production in Afrika is second-nature. We make stories, images and music as if by default, or is it all by design? Within the Afrocentric school of thought there are as many artists, orators and researchers as there are scientists, designers as there are technocrats. The celebrated writer Chimamanda Ngozi-Adichie is absolutely correct when she says that we should into the danger of ‘the single story’, you know -? Those stereotypes and generalizations that enforce narrow perceptions of the world we all co-exist in. Similarly, there is a misleading narrative that has been set, where Africa/Afrika is cast as simply a Cultural, Traditional and somewhat backward space of underdevelopment. Yet there have been scientific, and leading edge ideas developed by Afrikans for many centuries, it is simply the fact that many minds are yet to be decolonized that allows for the stereotypes to become self-fulfilling.

Rediscovering the works of the Cameroonian musical Griot, Manu Digango reminded me of this fact. His work, his sounds and design ethic reminded me that we are not a static people. Manu Dibango reminded me that we are as dynamic individually as we are multifaceted communally. There are Afrikan people all over the globe making remarkable contributions in every conceivable field of endeavor, from engineering, astrophysics, to arts and other sections of knowledge production. the world may still be biased towards white skins, and Ethnocentrism may still be far from over, but each project that shifts the mind towards progressive thought is a step in a positive direction.

This is part of what I wish to communicate to the world through various projects, ranging from workshops, installations and contributing to facilitating a new Afrikological curriculum in all Afrikan learning spaces. Towards this end, I am currenlt studying Communication Science at the University of South Africa, and in one of the subjects ( Projects and Programmes As Instruments for Development), I found this :

Each project is a social experiment, generating important new knowledge about what works and what does not in a specified cultural context. Assessment is, therefore, a crucial part of project development. ( Nolan 2000:200)”

I highlight this quote because, for the longest time I was frustrated by mostly United States and United Kingdom awards ceremonies that seemed to not recognize Black peoples contributions in any given field; but then again, when there are Black run awards ceremonies they also seemed to follow the template or formats of the Eurocentric ones. It became simply a matter of white supremacy re-asserting and perpetuating itself. Again we return to Music and its power. We shall extend this essay further and discuss how the same amount of creativity has been exerted by Black people or people of Afrikan descent in various fields.

For now, please enjoy Mr Soul Makosa’s tunes:

My People and Water

AmaReflections

MY PEOPLE AND WATER

Like all kids growing up in a semi-rural space, most of our games took place by the river. This is quite evident in most of our repertoires and river songs. Alongside us playing by the river, we were also told numerous stories about gigantic creatures that lived in the river, most of our cleansing rituals took place by the river and even the famous ‘ukweshela’ took place by the river.

During the mid to late 80s violence in KwaZulu Natal my family moved from Emaqongqo to a village called Emgodini in Pietermariztburg.

Emgodini literally looked like a hole between mountains, there was a special presence in this village. Our temporary home was built not far from the river banks of Umsunduzi which meant as children we would be spending most of our playing time by the river.

On a beautiful summer day, I thought I had…

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