UONGOZI Institute is pleased to congratulate Mr. Victor Ayal Ndede from Kenya for winning the 2018 African Youth Leadership Essay Competition. This competition was organised in order to provide a space for the youth of Africa to contribute to important discussions about leadership.
The top three winners were invited to the African Leadership Forum co-convened by H.E. Benjamin Mkapa, former President of the United Republic of Tanzania in Kigali, Rwanda from Thursday 02nd August, 2018 to Friday 03rd August, 2018. They also attended the African Leadership Forum Gala Dinner on the 02nd where the overall winner and runners-up were announced at an award ceremony officiated by H.E. Joaquim Chissano, former President of the Republic of Mozambique. The overall winner received a prize of $2,000. Cash prizes and certificates were also awarded to each runner-up.
The competition was open to all African citizens between the age of 18 – 25 years old. Contestants were asked to answer the following question in their essays:
“If you were an African leader how would you finance development and transformation?”
Over 2,000 essays from 36 African countries were received and rigorously evaluated using the following criteria:
The fifth African Leadership Forum (ALF), hosted by the former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, H.E. Benjamin William Mkapa, and organised by UONGOZI Institute took place in Kigali, Rwanda from Thursday 02nd August, 2018 to Friday 03rd August, 2018.
This year, the ALF, under the theme “Financing Africa’s Transformation for Sustainable Development” sought to provide a platform to deliberate on the prospect of increased, improved, and effective financing for Africa’s transformation.
The Keynote Address was delivered by H.E. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda. Five former African Heads of State were in attendance, including H.E. Joaquim Chissano, former President of the Republic of Mozambique; H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; H.E. Armando Guebuza, former President of the Republic of Mozambique; H.E. Moncef Marzouki, former President of the Republic of Tunisia; and H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, former President of the Republic of Somalia. The Forum was also attended by over 100 distinguished leaders from the public sector, private sector, academia and civil society.
In his welcoming remarks, H.E. Benjamin Mkapa underscored the importance of the Forum’s topic.
He stated, “In last year’s Forum, we discussed security as the key to sustainable development in Africa. This year, we decided to go further. Development requires investment; investment in philosophy, investment in organisation, investment in vision, and above all, investment in capital.”
President Mkapa added, “We thought we should exchange views on how to mobilise investment for sustainable development in our countries. The aim is to see how we can accelerate the process of economic transformation.”
In his address, President Paul Kagame stressed that Africa can finance its own development. He urged that Africa has everything it needs, and the means to acquire whatever it lacks.
“There is no doubt that Africa can finance its own development. We know this because Africa finances other people’s development, and always has,” he said.
He continued, “But we have to take responsibility for misallocation of Africa’s resources and take steps to correct that. I would rather argue that we need to mobilise the right mindset rather than more funding.”
President Kagame further mentioned three prerequisites for accelerating economic transformation in Africa.
“First, accountability, this is the foundation of good politics, which is effective and citizen-focused,” he stated, and then added, “Second, regional integration, working together across our continent. The success of financial reform of the African Union adopted in 2016 shows that Africa has the will and ability to fund common priorities.”
President Kagame concluded that the third prerequisite is the enabling of African businesses to grow and create jobs for young people.
“This is about improving the regulatory climate for enterprise and trade, building deeper capital in markets, lowering the high cost of sending remittances and changing the mindset of our youth,” he added.
Similar to previous events, the ALF 2018 was held under Chatham House Rules, whereby participants are able to speak candidly without concerns for being personally misquoted for the views expressed.
Under the overarching theme, the Forum considered three sub-themes, namely Domestic Resource Mobilisation, Halting Illicit Financial Flows, and the Global Development Financing Architecture.
Speakers at the event included Dr. Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa; Dr. Donald Kaberuka, former President of the African Development Bank; Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u, former Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya; Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development; and Amb. Dr. Yonov Frederick Agah, Deputy Director General, World Trade Organization.
The Minister of Finance and Planning, Hon. Dr. Philip Mpango (MP) officiated a National Roundtable Dialogue today on “The Role of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) in Implementing the Industrialisation Agenda”.
The dialogue, which was organised by UONGOZI Institute in collaboration with the Office of the Treasury Registrar in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, brought together over fifty State Owned Enterprise Board Chairpersons and Chief Executives to deliberate on the role of SOEs in contributing towards the country’s goal of becoming a middle-income, semi-industrialised country by 2025.
In his address, Hon. Dr. Mpango noted that the Dialogue’s theme fits in well with the main agenda of the Fifth Phase Government.
“The Government’s goal is to ensure that Tanzania becomes a middle-income country by 2025, through industrial development,” he said, “we have set targets for the contribution of the industrial sector to the economy to increase by 10% per year and for manufacturing exports to increase by 30% by 2020.”
Hon. Dr. Mpango further emphasised on the importance of events such as these in providing a platform for discussion in order to further progress towards sustainable development.
“This symposium is important both for you and for the Government, for it gives you an opportunity to share ideas and experiences on how public corporations can participate in industrial development, and economic development in general,” he stated, addressing the heads of SOEs.
Hon. Dr. Mpango further urged Heads of SOEs to invest in research and technology, and seize opportunities for effective industrial development. He further urged them to invest time in learning from others, both locally and internationally, that have achieved success.
According to Mr. Kadari Singo, speaking on behalf of the CEO of UONGOZI Institute, the Dialogue ultimately intended to examine the role of SOEs and their contribution in the implementation of the industrialisation agenda.
“Industrialisation is a complex process that needs, among others, broader and effective participation of all stakeholders. SOEs are a critical stakeholder in this process,” he said, “It is our hope that contributions and recommendations from this Dialogue will inform policies, plans and strategies to accelerate industrial development in the country.”
To kick-start the discussions, a keynote presentation on lessons to be learned from East Asia was delivered by Dr. John Page, Senior Fellow in the Global Economy and Development Program at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.
Subsequent presentations and discussions focused on lessons from other countries, how SOEs can take advantage of the opportunities emerging during the process of industrialisation, and how SOEs can meet the challenges arising from the process of industrialisation.
The Chief Secretary of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, Dr. Abdulhamid Yahya Mzee, officiated a six-day regional Negotiation Skills executive programme for senior officials from Tanzania (mainland and Zanzibar), Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria and Namibia today.
Organised by UONGOZI Institute in collaboration with the International Senior Lawyers Project, the executive programme aims to equip the leaders with the necessary skills and techniques to negotiate and secure lucrative deals in the oil and gas industry that will reap substantial benefits for their nations and the African continent.
In his opening speech, Chief Secretary Dr. Mzee highlighted the timeliness of the training, with Tanzania currently settling the foundations to make the best use of discoveries for the development of the country.
“Such investments and the byproducts have the potential to not only create jobs for Tanzanians, but to bring in significant revenues from the export sale of the gas,” said Dr. Mzee.
He went on to note that this requires complex negotiations, necessitating training programmes such as this to ensure that the outcome of those negotiations provide optimal benefits to African nations.
On behalf of the CEO of UONGOZI Institute, the Head of Capacity Building at UONGOZI Institute, Mr. Kadari Singo said through the training, participants’ understanding of the sector and its complexities, as well as negotiation capacities in oil and natural gas commercial contracts and investments deals will be strengthened.
“This is the second year that we are running a regional programme on negotiation skills,” he explained, “UONGOZI Institute runs several executive education programmes throughout the year on negotiation skills for natural resources, and we feel that it is important that these skills are also built at a regional level, which brings us to this course.”
On 17th May, 2018 former Presidents H.E. Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania, H.E. Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of Somalia and about forty peace and security high-level practitioners and experts from across Africa gathered in Dar es Salaam to discuss Africa’s position in the global peace and security architecture.
The Meeting which was organised by the Office of the Former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, H.E. Benjamin Mkapa and UONGOZI Institute was themed “Africa in the Global Peace and Security Architecture – Overcoming Gridlocks to Peace”.
The Meeting served as a continuation of the African Leadership Forum (ALF) convened in Johannesburg, South Africa in August, 2017, by H.E. Mkapa and H.E. Mbeki and attended by five other former African Heads of State, including H.E. Olusegun Mathew Obasanjo of Nigeria; H.E. Elson Bakili Muluzi of Malawi; H.E. Mohamed Moncef Marzouki of Tunisia; H.E. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete of Tanzania; and H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of Somalia.
The Meeting focused on two specific conflict areas in the region, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Federal Republic of Somalia and used Chatham House Rules to facilitate free and honest exchange.
The Meeting noted and applauded the growing role that the African Union (AU) and African institutions are playing in fostering peace and security in the Continent. Nevertheless, it noted that challenges remain and that a doubling of effort is necessary.
Commenting on the Meeting’s recommendations, H.E. Mkapa pointed out the need of streamlining peace and security structures in the African Union (AU) and other African regional blocs, as well as increasing collaboration with United Nations (UN) peace and security structures.
He stated, “It is critically important for the AU to present a unified voice in the international arena, however, the collaboration between AU and UN is essential to address key peace and security challenges in the African countries by learning UN’s experience.”
On his part, H.E. Mbeki elucidated on why the Meeting selected only two cases, Somalia and DRC.
He argued, “The Meeting wanted as practical results as possible, it could not discuss too many countries or examples, that is why two cases were chosen. Somalia case is important because it raises a question of the struggle against terrorism. As for the DRC, it borders nine African countries, and conflict in the DRC necessarily has semi-continental impact.”
He added, “The Meeting results will be fed into the processes taking place at the AU to help realise the organisation’s vision such as what is called ‘silencing the guns by 2020’.”
Relating with the experience in Somalia, after decades of military rule and dictatorship and civil war, H. E. Mohamud recognized that education is fundamental for ensuring that citizens understand the concepts of good governance and rule of law, but that this is not enough.
He said, “First and foremost, Africa’s leadership must lead by example. Leaders must follow the rules and act on citizens’ interests.”
The Executive Secretary of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), Amb. Zachary Muburi Muita emphasised on the need for regional leaders to work together on matters of peace and security.
He stated, “If one country explodes, the fire burns the neighbours immediately. And if there is peace and prosperity in one of the countries especially a central country like the DRC, the prosperity is going to spill over immediately to the neighbourhood.”
He further stated, “Thus, there is a need for political leaders, in a brotherly manner, to engage on matters of their neighbour(s) with the intention of finding African solutions to the African problems.”
The Meeting concluded with the following recommendations to Africa’s Leaders and the AU in order to address key peace and security challenges on the continent:
Strengthening the continent’s institutions tasked with peace and security matters;
Strengthening in-country frameworks for stakeholder engagement and consultation, and ensuring inclusive national discourse;
Increasing collaboration among national, regional and continental organs and frameworks contributing to conflict prevention and peace enforcement;
Streamlining and increasing collaboration with the United Nations peace and security structures, including the UN Security Council, and learning from their experience;
Promoting universal accession and implementation of the African Peer Review Mechanism as an essential tool for ensuring good governance, strong national level dialogue and inclusiveness;
Encouraging burden sharing, including financing of the peace and security effort by African governments.
A comprehensive report from the discussion will be forwarded to the AU Secretariat in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia as the Forum’s contribution to the organisation’s effort to drive the peace and security standing across the African continent.
UONGOZI Institute is pleased to welcome Dr. Kristiina Kuvaja-Xanthopoulos and Prof. Idris Suleiman Kikula as new Chairperson and new Vice Chairperson, respectively, of the UONGOZI Institute’s Board of Directors. Dr. Kuvaja-Xanthopoulos and Prof. Kikula were appointed by the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, H.E. Dr. John Pombe Magufuli on 15th May, 2018.
Dr. Kristiina Kuvaja-Xanthopoulos
Dr. Kuvaja-Xanthopoulos is Deputy Director General in the Department for Africa and the Middle East at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Finland.
Dr. Kuvaja-Xanthopoulos has over 20 years’ experience of global development policy and cooperation. She has also worked and conducted research in several countries in Europe, Africa and Asia, both in long- and short-term assignments.
Prof. Idris Suleiman Kikula
Re-appointed last year by the President, Prof. Kikula has been a Member of the UONGOZI Institute’s Board of Directors for over seven years. He was also appointed by President Magufuli in April, 2018 to serve as a Chairman of the newly-established Mining Council of Tanzania.
Prof. Kikula has vast experience in higher education, leadership development and sustainable development. He is well-known for his role as the first Vice Chancellor of the University of Dodoma, from 2007 to early 2018.
Other Members of the UONGOZI Institute’s Board of Directors include 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.
The 2017 UONGOZI Institute Leadership Essay Competition received over 3,000 essays from across Africa. Contestants were asked to answer the following question on their essays:
“If you were a leader, what would you do to ensure that peace and security is achieved and sustained in Africa?”
Mr. Victor Azure, an aspiring young leader from Ghana emerged as the overall winner of the Competition.
As this year’s Leadership Essay Competition call for submissions is still open, we took the opportunity to interview Mr. Azure. In the interview, he shared his experience and tips for young Africans who are interested in participating in the competition.
Can you briefly introduce yourself?
My name is Victor Azure, a 25-year-old from Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region of Ghana. I am currently a postgraduate law student at the University of Ghana, the same university where I obtained my first degree in Political Science and Philosophy.
Before Law School, I worked as a Research Associate at the Legon Center for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD) where I served as a Project Assistant in the team that drafted Ghana’s Foreign Policy blueprint for the next 40 years as part of the country’s 40-Year Development Plan.
Through LECIAD, I wrote several policy briefs, published a book review on the Legon Journal of International Affairs and Diplomacy and an article in the Ghana Social Sciences Journal.
Furthermore, during the 2016 General Election in Ghana, I was part of the National Election Monitoring Team under the National Peace Council, which facilitated and developed mechanisms for conflict prevention and management.
What inspired you to participate in the Leadership Essay Competition?
First of all, I genuinely felt I had something to contribute on the topic, it was closely linked to the field I was working in as well as my educational background.
Secondly, I think my Ghanaian upbringing also inspired me to participate. Coming from the country of Kwame Nkrumah one cannot grow up consciously and not contemplate some of the things that he stood for, a liberated and united Africa. Peace and security are few of the elements needed to support Nkurumah’s vision.
Thirdly, I believe that Africa’s development can be fully realised if African youth are inspired to find innovative, well-suited and sustainable solutions to African problems. So, I was very excited to find a platform such as UONGOZI Institute’s Leadership Essay Competition, which allowed young people like me to contribute to important discussions on building a peaceful and sustainable Africa.
Tell us about your experience in Johannesburg at the African Leadership Forum, what interested you the most?
I used to tell my friends a joke that if I wasn’t a Ghanaian, then I would have probably been a South African. I am a history enthusiast, and I have always been moved with stories of freedom fighters and/or anti-apartheid activists like Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Winnie Mandela and others. Therefore, I was very pleased to be among the top five winners who were invited to attend the 2017 African Leadership Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The Forum had a blend of leaders, experts and scholars from across Africa and other parts of the world, which made its discussions very interesting. It felt special to be in the same room with former Heads of State; H.E. Thabo Mbeki, former President of South Africa, H.E. Benjamin Mkapa, former President of Tanzania, H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria, H.E. Mohamed Moncef Marzouki, former President of Tunisia, H.E. Bakili Muluzi, former President of Malawi, H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, former President of Somalia and H.E. Jakaya Kikwete, former President of Tanzania.
It was an eye-opening experience.
What tips can you share with young Africans who would like to participate this year?
Connect with the topic: You need to understand that you are the narrator, if you cannot connect to the topic enough to pin down examples and provide evidence, you might end up with a weak argument.
Do your homework: Almost everything under the sun has been written about. But, ideas are revised every now and then. Thus, before writing your essay, read about the subject; it will help you develop or enhance your knowledge on the subject, and you will be able to answer essay questions in the most creative way. The key here is to find a new way of presenting the issue.
Structure is important: You will not have more than two pages to discuss a very heavy topic. Structure can help you save space and say more. Your first paragraph should set out clearly what you want to achieve with your essay and how you are going to do it. This will enable the examiners to comprehend and follow your argument. Furthermore, subsequent paragraphs must run into each other to tell a coherent story. When paragraphs are coherent you are saved from writing a long conclusion.
Avoid plagiarism: Examiners will hold you to the higher standard than an ordinary blog or other social media platforms. Do not plagiarise, and acknowledge your sources.
March 21st, 2018 marks the first-ever graduation ceremony of UONGOZI Institute’s Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership. Officiated by the Minister of State, President’s Office, Public Service and Good Governance, Hon. George Mkuchika (MP), the ceremony was attended by senior officials from various Ministries, the Tanzania Police Force, development partners and universities.
In 2017, UONGOZI Institute and Aalto University Executive Education of Finland launched a year-long executive programme, the Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership, with a total of 32 participants. At the end of the programme, 94% of the participants graduated.
In his opening remarks, the CEO of UONGOZI Institute, Prof. Joseph Semboja stated that the executive programme is designed to equip senior government officials with the necessary skills and competencies to provide sustainable solutions through effective leadership.
“The Diploma focuses on enhancing leadership competencies in three areas, making strategic choices, leading people and other resources and excelling in personal leadership qualities. It is undertaken on an annual basis with a total of 10 modules,” he elaborated.
In his address, Hon. Mkuchika noted the uniqueness and high quality standards of the programme, stating that the graduates should value the opportunity and put the diploma to good use in their work.
“As the Minister responsible for Public Service and Good Governance, I am very proud to see public officials receiving leadership training of high global standard from a local institution. I now expect you to start implementing what you have learned from the programme,” he stated.
“It is indisputable that some of you were born with leadership capacities, but experiences and research inform us that leaders can be made through the process of teaching, learning and observation. This programme stands as a proof of that,” he continued.
On his part, the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Amb. Hassan Simba underscored the significance of the training for the leadership of Tanzania’s Police Force.
“Leadership within the police must be adaptable to change in order to help take the country in direction it needs to go. That is why this opportunity was provided for leaders within the police force,” he stated.
The Group Director of Aalto University Executive Education of Finland, Prof. Pekka Mattila, who also spoke at the event emphasised the long-term impact of the programme.
“I think this programme is a showcase of long-term thinking and investment,” he said, “strong leaders in the government and public sector in general is key to creating structures that enable economic growth.”
The graduation ceremony was also attended by 32 participants from the second cohort of the Post-Graduate Diploma in Leadership, which began earlier this week. The second cohort includes senior government officials from various Ministries and Public Agencies.
African Unity is and has been one of Africa’s enduring aspirations since the independence movements began. Even then, there was a tacit understanding that united, Africa stood a better chance of achieving its goals, than if Africans (and African) states could be divided. The challenge to pan-Africanism, solidarity and unity has always been that sovereignty – the right to self-rule and non-interference in ‘domestic’ matters. Pan-Africanism has been presented as necessitating sacrifice for the ‘greater good’. This is an ideology that successive generations of Africans increasingly question. What began as a political ideology has also emerged as an economic imperative as we see more and more cross-border projects (in infrastructure in particular) and the recognition that intra-African trade could be one of the keys to sustainable growth and transformation on the Continent. Despite the obvious benefits, and challenges, the idea of pan-Africanism is often thought of as out-dated, impractical, or romanticism by more recent generations, who tend to express a feeling of national unity, solidarity and pride, than regional – except in particular circumstances.
Nationalism is on the rise globally, and this carries both good and bad elements. In Africa, the issue of nationalism has always been tied with those of our borders, and how ‘artificial’ they are given ethnic and linguistic geographies across the continent. Unlike the borders of Europe (in particular) and elsewhere, Africa’ borders were established by a series of meetings often referred to as the Berlin Conference of 1884–85, where European colonial powers divided up the continent amongst different and competing powers. It should be noted, however, that one of the earliest decisions of the Organisation of African Unity (the predecessor to today’s African Union) was to maintain the colonial borders. In part, this was a recognition that there was a need for administrative units and that re-organising at such a stage would be a drain on precious resources at a time when resources were being marshalled to spread liberation across the continent. Another consideration may also have been that ultimately, these borders would fade away. One thorny issue that has plagued successive leaders of Africa, particularly those with Pan-African dreams has been how to make the youth and future generations care for and understand the importance of pan-Africanism.
The key question that is often asked is How? What can be done to instil this sense of unity, collective responsibility, and a common destiny despite the obvious diversity of our people? Sometimes, the simplest solution may, in fact, be the best. In a ‘Meet the Leader’ interview conducted by UONGOZI Institute, H.E. Nujoma – the First President of the Republic of Namibia – expresses how this has been tackled in Namibia:
“Africa must unite… Here in Namibia we are trying to make sure that our children understand. That’s why here in Namibia we have the African Union flag and we also sing the African Union Anthem at all our schools.” – H.E. Sam Nujoma
H.E. Nujoma outlined one simple, and potentially fruitful, strategy of keeping the pan-Africanist dream alive in future generations:
“The aim is to register in the minds of our children that one day our national flag will go into the museum, and the African Union flag will remain the only flag on the African Continent.” – H.E. Sam Nujoma
The approach is basic, and is indeed one that is adopted by most public schools in many of our countries in Africa – Sing the (national) anthem. Familiarity breeds understanding and appreciation. The more familiar and comfortable we are with the symbols African unity and pan-Africanism, the more comfortable we will be with the concept and its realisation. By outlining the intention of one day retiring the national flag to the museum, this clearly signals to the intrinsic link between the fate of Namibia (and Namibia) with that of Africa (and Africans).
Perhaps all African leaders should consider this simple, yet effective solution to enhancing regional integration and pan-Africanism on the continent..?