UONGOZI Institute Leadership Essay Competition 2020 now open

UONGOZI Institute is pleased to announce this year’s Leadership Essay Competition, the eighth since inception (2013). Similar to previous years, this year’s topic aims to solicit thoughts on the theme of the African Leadership Forum (ALF). The essays should respond to the following question:

If you were an African leader, how would you promote African intra-trade to unlock agricultural potential in the Continent?


The Competition is open to all African citizens between 18-25 years.

All essays must be typed. The maximum length is two (2) A4 pages. The format shall be of single spaced, Arial font size 11 with page margins of 1 inch (2.54 cm) for each margin, and sent as a Microsoft Word document.

Essays will be judged on the basis of originality, creativity, use of language and appropriateness to contest theme. All essays must be written in English.


A grand prize of USD $2,000 will be awarded to the overall winner.  Up to five winners will be selected.

The winners will receive their awards at a prize-giving event, which will be held online during the seventh ALF. The ceremony will be attended by former African Heads of State and other distinguished leaders from the public sector, private sector, academia and civil society. The overall winner will be asked to read the winning essay at the event.


Applicants must be African citizens between 18-25 years.


Essays should be submitted by email to: submissions@uongozi.or.tz

Applicants must also submit a written Statement of Originality and ownership of intellectual property rights.

The final deadline for submission will be Friday, 10 July, 2020 at 17:00 hours (EAT). The winners will be notified via email in August, 2020. Feedback will not be provided on individual essays.


The Leadership Essay Competition is organised annually by UONGOZI Institute to provide a space for the youth of Africa and the next generation of leaders in the region to contribute to important discussions on leadership and sustainable development. Since 2013, seven Competitions have been organised.


Need advice on how to write a winning essay? Follow these tips from some of the previous overall winners: Liz Guantai (2016), Victor Azure (2017), Victor Ndede (2018), Panashe Gombiro (2019).


Moving Beyond the Glass Ceiling: Enabling women to take up political leadership positions


Woman run to new opportunities

By Sandra Grindgärds

The discussion about women in politics and public leadership positions is not new. In 1979, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) was adopted (and signed by Tanzania). In the convention, the basic principle of equality between men and women, and how to ensure women’s access to and equal opportunities in political and public life were set. Yet today, 38 years on, women are under-represented in decision-making positions and attaining them remains a challenge globally.

According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, only 22.8% of the seats in Parliaments globally are held by women, which is also the regional average for Sub-Saharan Africa. In Tanzania, 126 (36 %) seats are held by women, making Tanzania rank 23rd in the world with regards to women in Parliament. Furthermore, only 17 per cent of government ministers globally were women as of January 2015, with the majority overlooking social sectors, such as education and family matters. At the time of writing, ten women are serving as Head of State and nine as Head of Government, which is around 6 – 7% of the positions available. When looking at the private sector the numbers do not look better. Globally, women hold only 24% of senior management positions. In top executive positions in large companies, women are even fewer. Studies suggest only 8 – 12 % of global businesses have a female CEO or Managing Director. It is a familiar story.

Attaining gender parity in political participation and decision-making was set as a target internationally in 1995 in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. The target was also set as a part of the Sustainable Development Goals under Goal 5: “Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making in political, economic and public life”. Since 1995, some progress can be said to have been made as only 10 per cent of the members of legislative bodies were held by women back then. However political representation is not enough, inequalities between women and men persist and major obstacles remain. Research indicates that a more diverse leadership contributes to better policies and, in business, to increased profits. Evidence suggests that companies with better female representation deliver 34% greater returns than those with lesser representation.

So why is the change so slow? Women face multiple interlinked obstacles, linked to cultural, social and institutional factors on all levels in society. This contributes to sustain structural barriers for women in politics and leadership positions. It is necessary to analyse profoundly existing gender roles and mainstream gender policies. Women traditionally, in most cultures, carry the main care responsibilities like household work and childcare. This role is challenging to combine with politics and business life, if systems are not put in place to enable women to have active professional lives. For instance, providing childcare services; creating policies for sharing household responsibilities more equally; and holding legislative sessions during hours when women can participate.

Gender mainstreamed policies and laws, like the examples above, have often been passed and enacted when women have entered the legislative bodies. Even if every woman does not necessarily champion gender matters, our socially constructed gender roles gives men and women different experiences and perspectives. Hence, men and women tend to have different priorities while in power. Laws that combat social barriers for women, like access to education, reproductive health services, and tackling gender-based violence are more often passed when women are in decision-making positions. To foster a broader and gender-sensitive representation it is crucial that social barriers are removed. Education is key; not only that equal access to education should be assured, but also the quality of it and how gender is addressed in the education system is important.

It is also important to discuss institutions. Political institutions and organisational cultures may either foster an enabling or disabling environment. These institutions set standards for how easy or difficult it is for outsiders, like women, to win seats in elections or reach leadership positions. For instance, proportional electoral systems with multiple member districts foster an equal representation better than other electoral systems. Another institutional tool is gender quota systems. Tanzania has reached the Beijing target of 30% of Legislature being women due in large part to the implementation of a quota system, which is the case in the majority of countries that have around 30% women in parliaments. When applying quota systems, it is important to analyse their long-term effects on equality. What would happen if the quota system were to be removed, would the representation remain balanced? Do the systems succeed to mitigate existing power structures? A quota system should not erase competition, but ensure that women can enter the competition on equal grounds as men.  A quota system pushes for change, but quotas alone won’t erase all barriers.

Other measures must also be considered. For instance, political parties, which often are identified as main gatekeepers for women’s representation in politics, play an important role. Political parties’ bureaucratic processes and systems might either foster or hinder women’s participation. If women are not actively engaged in political parties nor hold leadership positions within the parties, it will be difficult for women to successfully run in elections. Political parties can put in place systems that support and prepare women for leadership, like mentorship programs and the allocation of appropriate resources for women wings, and high-potential women.

Institutions may also foster a certain kind of power culture that can create barriers for women. When women enter legislatures or management teams, they enter a traditionally male-dominant arena where the majority functions according to rules set by men. Women might encounter challenges to act in such systems. Legislative sessions may be held late at night or women do not have access to informal networks, which were created when only men had access to power. Hence, it is important to look at cultures within power establishments. It is also noticed that when women enter legislative bodies they introduce new working tools, which might challenge existing systems. In many countries women platforms, bringing women together across political party lines, have been introduced. This also fosters a cross-party dialogue, which can contribute to a change in the political culture and enhance both women’s participation and representation.

Furthermore, building a political career or becoming a successful leader is a long-term project. You have to gain experiences, build a legacy, create your constituency and have access to both economical and social capital. This can be done both inside parties and in other arenas. In Rwanda, which has the highest number of female members of parliament in the world, many women were active in civil society organisations before becoming elected representatives. Civil society has generally had a stronger track record of enabling women, including; creating networks, finding supporters, and gaining valuable experience. An activist with many supporters is also a person a political party would want to get on board, as such a person has already attracted potential voters.

Finally, we should not neglect the importance of role models. Female leaders and politicians may inspire other women to pursue a career in politics. A study of more than 1700 senior executives worldwide showed that a highly regarded female CEO inspires other women to seek leadership positions. Women leaders are needed in all parts of society. Measures to ensure women’s participation in civil society organisations and local leadership structures are as important as it is to ensure women’s participation in politics and business. It is also essential to address this on all political levels, both locally and nationally.

However, change will not happen if men are not engaged. Men working for equality are as important as women working for equality. Both men and women are needed in politics and business, as well as at home sharing care responsibilities and household work equally with women. Only when gender equality is in focus in all parts of society, will we be able to mitigate power structures that hinder women to succeed in attaining leadership and decision-making roles.

Sandra Grindgärds is a freelance consultant specialising in politics and gender. She has worked with the Tanzania Women’s Cross Party Platform and the UN Peace Operation in Cote d’Ivoire. Prior to that, she was politically active in her native Finland, and she has worked at the European Parliament in Brussels.


Applications Invited for the Post of Senior Research Associate – Leadership

UONGOZI Institute is implementing its strategic plan 2016/17 – 2020/21 within which “advancing knowledge and practice of good leadership” is one of its goals. The purpose of this goal is to generate and disseminate new knowledge on leadership. With this, the institute believes it will inspire and engage the research and academic community, think tanks, leaders, and the wider public and hence contribute to advancing the practice of good leadership.

While leadership is important everywhere in the world, the way that it is practiced differs by region and by context. Many studies have examined the practice of leadership in western cultures, but leadership in most of Africa has not been explored in much depth, and there are so many impressionistic assertions about leadership in the continent.

The Institute is seeking to appoint a Senior Research Associate to provide intellectual guidance to its Research Programme on Leadership in Africa. The three-year Programme aims to explore and understand the many dimensions of leadership development and practice in postcolonial Africa. The Programme will contribute towards building a body of knowledge on leadership development and practice in Africa; leadership related policy-discussions across the continent; the design of leadership development initiatives; and strengthened research networks in the area of leadership.

Duties and Responsibilities

The main duties of the post are:

  1. To contribute to the development of the Research Programme on Leadership in Africa;
  2. To contribute to preparing proposals and other activities to secure funding;
  3. To undertake research that contributes to the programme outputs and outcomes;
  4. To contribute towards capacity building of researchers at the Institute;
  5. To participate and present work at seminars, workshops and conferences; and
  6. To participate in round-tables or events open to policy-makers;

Other duties may be assigned from time to time by the Executive Director.

Modality of Engagement

This role is a part-time position and its award is not a contract of employment. The successful applicant can be engaged as a resident or non-resident fellow and for the latter, flexible working arrangements may be negotiated. For resident fellows, it will be the responsibility of UONGOZI Institute to arrange for travel, accommodation, transport, office space and make any other living arrangements for the duration of their stay (a maximum of one year).


The successful applicant will hold a Research Degree (Master’s based on research, MPhil) or PhD. S/he will be a scholar with advanced knowledge of at least 10 years on the subject of leadership. The Programme requires considerable organizational and intellectual skills including a practical understanding of spoken and written English language. It is expected that the successful candidate will already have held a postdoctoral fellowship or the equivalent.

Application Process

Interested candidates should forward a CV with a cover letter to research@uongozi.or.tz

The closing date for completed applications is 28th February, 2017


For further inquiries use the contact information provided below:

UONGOZI Institute

Plot No. 62, Msasani Road, Oysterbay

P.O. Box 105753, Dar es Salaam

Phone: (22) 260 2917   Fax: (22) 260 2918

Email: research@uongozi.or.tz

UONGOZI Institute exists to support African leaders to attain sustainable development for their nation and for Africa.  We seek to inspire leaders and promote the recognition of the important role of leadership in sustainable development through research, capacity development and public dialogues.


New programme to promote and enhance sustainable development in Africa

world in my hands

On July 1st, 2017 UONGOZI Institute formally began its new five-year strategy (2016/17 – 2020/2021). One of the new features of the strategy is the implementation of a new Sustainable Development Programme (SDP) that has been in preparation since March, 2016. The Programme is geared towards addressing the implementation challenges of sustainable development in Africa, with particular attention paid to the Global Goals for Sustainable Development (the Sustainable Development Goals – SDGs). The Programme builds on the Institute’s previous efforts such as the Natural Resources Management Programme (NRM), the In Focus TV interview series, and the Green Growth Platform.

The overall aim and purpose of the SDP is a multi-year programme to develop leadership in Tanzania (and Africa more broadly) to appreciate and implement sustainable development and to support implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. The Programme also aims to strengthen the Institute as a national, regional, and international hub providing a multi-stakeholder forum for dialogue on sustainable development issues facing both the continent, and the world more generally. The SDP will be anchored by the African Sustainable Development Forum, of which H.E. Dr. Jakaya M. Kikwete, former President of the United Republic of Tanzania serves as Chair and Patron.

At the end of the strategic plan period, the Institute envisions leaders who understand and appreciate sustainable development in both conceptual and practical terms; who are able to translate this understanding into tangible benefits to Africa’s citizenry by addressing policy gaps to enable sustainable development; and most importantly for them to understand their role in and duty to advance and deliver sustainable solutions to African citizens. The programme will include the following components:

  • Providing a platform for dialogue, bringing together different agents involved in the implementation of the SDGs so as to build the necessary social capital to enable implementation;
  • Undertaking research on Sustainable Development related and NRM themes and issues;
  • Ensuring that SD-related and NRM-related information is available, accessible, and reliable to African citizens as well as policy-makers and decision-makers;
  • Facilitating capacity building on sustainable development to senior leaders in Government as well as to emerging leaders;
  • Continuously monitoring progress towards the SDG targets.

In particular, the Programme will focus on Goal 17 of the SDGs (Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development) by enabling and enhancing financing for sustainable development, overcoming systemic issues such as policy and institutional incoherence, promoting multi-stakeholder partnerships (including Private-Public Partnerships – PPPs), and building capacity to support national and regional sustainable development plans.

One new focus area for the Institute, under the SDP, is Climate Security – the incorporation of environmental and climate (change) concerns into local, national, international, and global security agendas, and the challenges of transforming security practices and provisions accordingly. This issue has only emerged recently in the international political arena (it first appeared before the United Nations Security Council in April, 2007).

The Sustainable Development Programme will be overseen by Dr. Gwamaka Kifukwe (Programme Coordinator – Sustainable Development) and Mrs. Namwaka Omari (Programme Coordinator – Natural Resources Management).

For more information, contact info@uongozi.or.tz 


Technical and vocational education has a vital role to play in Africa’s sustainable development

Gwamaka Kifukwe


Everyone appreciates a quality craftsmanship, whether it is artistic or functional – and yet, we do not encourage our youths to pursue opportunities and livelihoods that require technical and vocational education. This is severely curtailing the potential for technical and vocational education to contribute to Sustainable Development – and much of the problem lies in our own attitudes and thinking. Sometimes, sustainable development challenges can be tackled through simple (note, ‘simple’ does not mean ‘easy’) solutions; and the untapped potential of technical and vocational training is one such case.

It is a familiar story; we finish secondary school with As and Bs and a few lucky Cs will go on to University to pursue degrees. The rest of the class are ‘doomed’ to vocational and technical education. But why has this sentiment become the norm? We all have friends, family and colleagues who are naturally gifted in different things: Some people can create magic in the kitchen, others have a knack for fixing things, others still are good at D-I-Y around the house, all of which we appreciate. So why do we not encourage people with these skills to develop them to their full potential? From the outset we stigmatise and demotivate those with the passion and talents to work with their hands, in order to promote academic pursuits. Ill-preparation for the job market as a whole.

Education has become about getting a degree, in order to get a good job or ‘escaping’ to richer parts of the country, the continent, or the world. Increasingly we are encouraged to become ‘job creators’ instead of ‘job seekers’. The truth is, we do need job creators. But the truth is also that we need skilled individuals to do those jobs! As it is, African labour may be cheap in terms of wages, but the trade-off for the quality of our products and services, render our labour uncompetitive due to the skills shortages in our labour pool and other related issues.

A major cause of the skills gap is poor enrolment in technical and vocational education. In all the world, Sub-Saharan Africa ranks lowest in terms of the percentage of total secondary enrolment in technical and vocational education (hovering between 4% and 5%). By comparison, the richest countries in the world (OECD) average around 20%. And we all feel the consequences of this. For those of you out there who own cars, or at least have been involved in getting a car repaired, you will be aware of how difficult it is to find a reliable and trustworthy mechanic to fix whatever problem your car might have. Typically in Africa one must ask around with other friends if they know someone, or know someone who might know someone… Have you ever thought to ask how and where the mechanic was trained?

In Africa, the informal economy is the largest employer, and a source of the majority of vocational learning. By 2008 in Senegal, some 400,000 young people were entering informal apprenticeships annually, compared to 7,000 graduates from the formal vocational and technical education centres! And in Ghana, it was estimated that as much as 80% of skills development was taking place through the informal apprenticeship system. As these apprenticeships offer no certification or documentation, upon their completion young people are absorbed into the informal economy. This poses several risks and problems, a few of which are listed below:

  • Clients and consumers have no knowledge of the quality of product or service they are receiving or purchasing.
  • Training is not standardised so there is neither quality control, nor standard operating procedures.
  • Costs are random.
  • Those taking on apprentices are effectively training their competition and so have conflicting interests.
  • Apprentices have no proof of skills and so have difficulty in presenting credentials to clients, or to financial service providers in case they would like to start their own businesses.
  • Governments are losing revenue.
  • Job creators and investors are unable to source local skills because they are not able to identify individuals even where they exist.

And the situation is likely to get even more complicated… NEPAD estimates that by 2025, there will be 330 Million young Africans eligible to enter the labour market. Africa needs jobs, yes – but it also needs people qualified to fill those jobs. As the world’s attention focuses on Africa, we are witnessing a growth in the immigrant population, many of whom are finding meaningful employment and economic activity on the continent. The diversity is welcome, however it also points to three facts that we cannot ignore. There are jobs in Africa; Africans are not able to access these jobs; and, we must do something in order for Africans to be able to compete for these jobs.

The perception that vocational and technical education will lead to being a ‘job seeker’ is misleading. University degrees do not guarantee that you will be a job creator or your own boss. You are just as likely to work for someone else in following either education pathway. Furthermore, from a development perspective, as the African market grows in terms of population, better linkages and spending power, there are huge opportunities for intra-African exchange. Why can these products and services not be produced in Africa? Currently Africa is outsourcing the very jobs that countries like Vietnam, Korea and China are using as the engine of their economic growth. Processing goods for the African market can and should take place in Africa – where the raw materials are found in any case. As the intra-African linkages get better, the reality is that there are many more opportunities for skilled labour (through vocation and technical education) as a starting point.

So why do we stigmatise vocational and technical education and prevent youth from pursuing viable, dignified and (frankly) needed careers based on vocational skills? Why are we not encouraging more skills and vocation-oriented education in our secondary schools so we can identify, nurture and encourage those with talents that are not academic to provide vital contributions to our societies? If science and technology education is a priority, where will we source the lab technicians or the mechanics? We are appreciative of good quality technical service, indeed sometimes we are dependent on it (from fire alarms to construction work), and yet many parents would not encourage (indeed may actively discourage) pursuit of excellence in technical and vocational fields. Why?

Furthermore, there is nothing preventing us from complimenting vocational and technical education, with entrepreneurship skills development. When we train chefs in nutrition, flavour balancing, and so forth, why do we not also impart them with knowledge on how to start and/or run a restaurant thereby becoming a potential job creator in the process? Africa will need entrepreneurs who are able to develop solutions from within as much as it needs entrepreneurs who adapt technologies, processes and ideas to the African context. In this area, those with the skills and experience in an industry can play a critical role in ensuring innovation is suitable to the needs and conditions of our context.

So what can be done? First of all we need to break the perception that vocational and technical education is the pathway for ‘those who don’t do well at high school’, added to this we need to identify and nurture those talented in non-academic ways so that they can prosper and contribute to their societies and communities using the passions and skills they are blessed with. Secondary education must incorporate more practical classes to expose pupils to alternatives in terms of future careers and possibilities (both as employees and employers). Governments can work with informal traders and service providers by providing guidelines and certification, individuals that collaborate and meet quality standards may be fast-tracked into the formal economy where they then have access to financial products and services to expand their business – various incentive packages to encourage enrolment may also be considered. These are just some of the ideas that could be considered.

Fundamentally however the change needed, as is often the case in Africa, is our own attitudes and approaches (‘mind-set’ to use the current phrase of choice). It is we Africans who must move away from thinking of vocational and technical education as the result of poor academic performance; of worshipping some kind of intellectual elitism. We must de-stigmatise technical and vocational education in order to enable individuals with passion and talent that are not captured in the current essays and written exams. We must recognise and encourage individuals to pursue excellence and an attitude of life-long learning in whatever field we are passionate about or talented in. The university-educated are just as job-seeking as they are job-creating. The same is true for those of vocational and technical educational backgrounds.

Vocational and technical skills have an important role to play in Africa’s future, so we must take education for these skills seriously. There are, and will be, many opportunities for people in Africa to prosper by pursuing this if they so choose. Because at the end of the day, what is development, if not to enable people the freedom to pursue their aspirations and ambitions and contribute to society through public and private pursuits?

Dr. Gwamaka Kifukwe is the Programme Coordinator for the Sustainable Development Programme at UONGOZI Institute. He also hosts the Institute’s two flagship television interview programmes, ‘Meet the Leader‘ and ‘In Focus‘.  For more information, please contact us.

Industrial Development in Tanzania: renewed commitment amidst persistent challenges

by Dennis Rweyemamu pic+industrial

The fifth phase Government of the United Republic of Tanzania has demonstrated renewed commitment to industrialization, as part of a broader agenda to create employment opportunities and substantially reduce poverty. This renewed commitment to promoting industrial development is timely. Literature suggests that economic development requires structural change from low to high-productivity activities, and that the industrial sector is a key engine of growth in the development process. Virtually all country cases of high, rapid and sustained economic growth have been associated with industrialization, particularly growth in manufacturing production.

Unfortunatley, the manufacturing sector in Tanzania is an example of disappointing sectoral performance. In the past, policy failures both in design and implementation have contributed to poor industrial performance. During the import-substitution phase of the 1970s, government policies and efforts focused more on providing support to domestic firms than on getting them to perform. Furthermore, the emphasis was on setting up industries rather than on building dynamic capabilities that would allow firms to be competitive. High protection meant that domestic firms were poorly prepared for international competition. The fact that the state created and operated the manufacturing firms simply made the problem worse. Investments were often made with little regard to efficiency, and the managerial capacity of the state was badly overstretched.

The structural adjustment phase of the 1980s and 1990s, saw the withdrawal of government support, even in the presence of market failures, and the liberalization of trade without taking account of the capabilities of domestic firms is another example of policy failure. Emerging from being the worst affected during the economic crises of the early 1980s, (despite massive public investments), the sector has never really recovered. The main reforms in the sector evolved around restructuring activities and liberalizing the investment climate. While there were mild achievements in a few industries, the rest were either stagnant or worse off. With the ushering of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) in the early 2000s, resources were shifted away from the productive sectors that are necessary for sustained growth and poverty reduction, with a new focus on the social sectors.

Although policy failures did contribute to poor industrial performance, structural factors also played a role. The structural factors are manifest in the form of poor infrastructure (including roads, airways, railways, and communication), low human capital, small size of domestic markets, and a low entrepreneurial base. No industry can run smoothly in an environment where the whole range of basic infrastructure leaves a lot to be desired. Fortunately, we are now seeing efforts by the Government to address infrastructural constraints, but these efforts need to be intensified.

The small size of domestic markets in Tanzania implies that we are unlikely to sustain an industrialization agenda without access to regional and global markets. These external markets would provide an opportunity to expand production as well as exports, and reap the benefits of scale economies. It would also make available the much needed foreign exchange to import intermediate inputs and capital goods for domestic industries.

But are we competitive enough to enter into these markets? It is important that industrial development efforts be part of an overall process of integration into the global economy rather than inward-looking as was the case during the import-substitution phase. Imposing import bans on goods will only help firms targeting the domestic market, and in a way be a “cost” to consumers who would have otherwise accessed cheaper imports of the same or even higher quality. There should be efforts towards building the capabilities of domestic firms and preparing them to compete in export markets for medium and high-technology manufactured goods.

While the Goverment has recognized the necessity to promote industrial and manufacturing development in order to address the country’s development challenges, there is need to search for an approach that is strategic, integrates lessons from the past, and takes into account the realities of a changing global environment. Investment in human capital should be key to any such strategy so as to improve efficiency and thus productivity levels. This, however, must be supported by necessary public goods (particularly investments in infrastructure), support institutions (for trade facilitation, credit, access to technology, establishment of standards and certification) and an incentive structure that is conducive to industrial growth.

So, in the fierce competition of export markets, does Tanzania stand a chance? Yes, it does. Not that it will be easy or quick, but with better policies and more investment, we could be competitive in things like agro-products, footwear, furniture and other low-skill industries. Opportunities are there, but we need to strategize and implement plans. Otherwise we may remain stuck in only exporting natural resources.

Is there a right formula for managing the oil and gas sector in Tanzania?


by Namwaka Omari

Discussion and debates around natural resources in Tanzania have in recent years focused on the projected revenues from the gas sector. The new discoveries of natural gas have shifted the nation’s conversation to turn to look at what this gas can do for the country. The underlying assumption here is that if the gas is developed, processed, piped and exported, it will bring in significant cash flow to the government; a new cash cow of sort. This is all well and good – in theory. In practice, the process is not all that simple and if not managed ‘right’, then we may not realise the projected revenues that are meant to come from the gas reserves. How then do we properly manage the sector? What should we put in place? What should we do first? What should we NOT do?

These are all important questions that we should be asking ourselves and thinking critically as to how to position ourselves to truly benefit from our natural resources. They cannot all be answered at one go, nor should they be attempted to be answered at one go as this is a complex sector that needs careful analysis. What we should do is learn from others that have gone before us on this journey, and determine which lessons we can take forward and which we should leave behind. Not all will work for us as Tanzania, but there may be some experiences that we can take from and build on – some good foundations.

An example of this is from a recent trip to Ghana, which revealed that their natural resources are protected in the mother law – the Constitution – with powers vested in the parliament to look at each and every contract that is in the realm of natural resources prior to approval. This oversight role is important in ensuring that each contract attains maximum benefit for citizens. This is indeed an important lesson for us in Tanzania, where does the buck stop with us?

What I am offering here is one foundation, which borrows from the Natural Resource Charter framework. I am offering a few of the ingredients in the recipe of how we can start to possibly think about ‘getting it right’:

Ingredient 1: Have in place a comprehensive national strategy or ‘vision’ for the sector with an effective coordination framework; this means developing a shared blueprint (vision) and creating an “authorizing environment” for the natural gas sector which spans all the relevant ministries and is housed at a high office.

Ingredient 2: Ensure Government ownership of geological information so that the Government knows how much is available and where, this will provide ownership of the data to the Government.

Ingredient 3: Empower citizens with correct information which speaks to the need to have a critical mass of informed citizens which can hold the Government accountable.

Ingredient 4: Secure efficient allocation of licenses to ensure maximum benefits by having a transparent licensing regime.

Ingredient 5: Realise the full value from the natural resources by vesting ownership to the Government through empowering the National Oil Company as a commercial entity, as well as ensuring that tax regimes enable the government to realize the value of resources.

Ingredient 6: Put in place an effective regulatory framework by establishing a regulatory authority and frameworks for upstream, as well as effective institutions and frameworks for midstream and downstream.

Ingredient 7: Make sure environmental and social costs of oil & gas projects are accounted for, mitigated and offset, which will mean enhancing monitoring of company operations, enforcement of compliance to laws that safeguard surrounding communities from harmful environmental impacts, as well as putting in place an effective system to respond to environmental disasters (such as oil spills or hazardous leaks).

Ingredient 8: Invest oil & gas revenues to achieve optimal and equitable outcomes for both current and future generations. Here we could learn from others and establish a Gas Revenue Fund which is independent, with the purpose of ring-fencing funding for continuous development of the oil & gas industry, ensuring financing of strategic infrastructure, managing fiscal volatility as well as saving for the future generations.

[Watch the In Focus show on understanding Sovereign Wealth Funds here]

Ingredient 9: Design integration of the oil and gas sector for economic transformation, by harnessing oil and gas to transform other critical sectors such as infrastructure as well as ensuring local content (employment, local supply chain,s etc.) and local skills are developed.

Ingredient 10: Dialogue with International Oil Companies (IOCs), to ensure they are committed to contributing to sustainable development through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in line with local development plans, as well as adhering to national standards.

Ingredient 11: Engage the International Community to support the sustainable development efforts of the country, by encouraging IOCs to operate in the same way as they operate in their countries of origin. Information sharing initiatives should be enhanced, while ensuring that the host country proactively engages with the IOCs.

This does not suggest that these ingredients are a magic pill; nor that they will guarantee ‘getting it right’, but it is a start. There is no one ‘right’ formula – no one size fits all in managing the sector, however, there are ingredients which are essential, and looking at what other countries have done, which give us a starting point, may put us on a path that could potentially work for Tanzania.

Other resources on managing natural resources:

Youth Leadership Development: Lessons from the past

Some of the founding leaders of the OAU. (Source Steelpulse)
Some of the founding leaders of the OAU. (Source Steelpulse)

By Gwamaka R. Kifukwe

“Each generation must discover its mission, fulfil it or betray it…” – Franz Fanon

Youth leadership development programmes and networks have become abundant in Africa. Each claiming to equip, support, and inspire ‘the next generation of Africa’s leaders’. Leadership is a great challenge for Africa, and one of the things we can draw from the numerous and massive investments in Africa’s young high-achievers and those recognised as ‘high potential’ is that the world is taking ‘the next generation of Africa’s leaders’ very seriously.

History tells us that young people, whether in the civil rights movement of the United States or the ‘Arab Spring’ across North Africa and the Middle East, play a critical role in ushering in change. Indeed, many of the icons of Africa’s independence era were all relatively young when they led us to independence: Kenneth Kaunda (40), Patrice Lumumba (34), Samora Machel (41), Kwame Nkrumah (47), Julius Nyerere (39), Thomas Sankara (33), Haile Selassie I (24), Sekou Toure (36), etc. At the very least, this list of distinguished men (and this is not to detract from the critical role of women in these movements) highlights the potential of youth. It should be noted, none of the above-mentioned (nor other leaders of that generation) ever had opportunities for specialised and dedicated grooming in the form of youth leadership programmes. However, they were visionary in the sense that they quickly realised that they needed each other – the pan-African struggle is and was as much a moral battle as it was a case of ‘enlightened self-interest’ since their fates were intimately linked.

Sadly, there are few examples where youth organise themselves or are being organised by, of and for Africa. This reflects a failure to recognise the power and importance of networks of and for leaders (and leadership). In part, this is due to an emphasis on leaders as individuals. Sadly, this is a lesson from the past that we are ignoring. Not organising young high achievers and high- potential youths is a missed opportunity. That the world recognises Africa’s talents and potential is great – and well deserved for the many men and women who have had the privilege and opportunity to participate in these programmes. However, there is a missing piece to the puzzle. In order for Africa to progress as Africa, we need to build the relationships between these young individuals to understand our different pasts and value-systems, and build consensus around our common purpose and destiny, on our terms. We are failing to marshal these (would-be) ‘leaders’ into a cohesive ‘leadership’ that will drive the continent and her people forward. This requires specialised investment in and organisation of this demographic that so far has not been forthcoming by the continent itself.

The most valuable component of these programmes is not the technical knowledge that is gained, nor is it the opportunity to practice particular skills associated with ‘leading’. The community (or network) of peers who one can reach out to for guidance or support is by far the most valuable take-away for participants. As mentioned above, the liberation-era leaders across Africa formed these social bonds and are known to have been in constant communication. Despite the lack of specialised grooming, they realised the importance of alliances and a group of leaders (peers) to form a collective leadership. These relationships were vital in securing Africa’s independence. Such relationships are, and will be, vital for good leadership in Africa. As these programmes are often not Africa based or formed, which individuals are being promoted, and why? How are potential-leaders identified? For what purpose are they being groomed? Are we coaching and mentoring would-be leaders to equip them with the skills and knowledge to understand how Africa got to be where it is today, why we face the challenges we face, where Africa’s place is in the world, and what efforts we can build on to get a better seat at the global table?

This piece starts with a famous quote from Franz Fanon, a psychiatrist and anti-colonial philosopher who fought in the Algerian War of Independence. It speaks to the heart of the matter regarding the development of young and emerging leaders in Africa – for what?

Through the African Union, African Heads of State and Government have adopted the Agenda 2063 (with its seven pillars) followed by seven goals. Are these the tasks we are setting our leaders? Are we doing enough to prepare ourselves across private, public, and civil society spaces to take on the leadership challenges that fulfilling these seven goals will face, and are our leaders doing enough to prepare future leaders for this task?

If we are serious about our future, we must groom the young and emerging leaders of today, to move us towards sustainable development and transformation. We must prepare them, so that when they too become Elders, they will in turn help to prepare future young and emerging leaders for Africa. For this, Africa too must look to the talented individuals across the continent and give them the opportunities and support they need to succeed – and we need to get them talking to, and working with, each other.

For more on Agenda 2063 see http://agenda2063.au.int/en/home

Frantz Fanon’s ‘The Wretched of the Earth’ is available from the UONGOZI Institute Resource Centre (http://www.uongozi.or.tz/centerservices.php)

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the above article are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of UONGOZI Institute.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Series: Goal 16

Goal Sixteen: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

SDG16-e1442928930621This goal, with a focus on governance, was not included in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the preceding form of the SDGs. It is of particular importance for Africa due to its focus on institutions and policies that would serve as the basis for achieving many of the other goals.

The targets under this goal emphasize the importance of peace, non-violence, rule of law and inclusiveness in society for development. It also includes targets on, more specifically, the reduction of illicit financial and arms flows, corruption and bribery in all forms; as well as the development of accountable and transparent institutions at all levels and ensuring public access to information.

According to the 2015 Mo Ibrahim index, as a collective, Africa’s progress on governance has stalled since 2011. Although the figures vary from country to country, the index shows that there has been progress under Human Development and Participation & Human Rights, however Safety & Rule of Law and Sustainable Economic Opportunity have shown a decline. Specific areas of decline included public management, rights, accountability, the rural sector, national security and the business environment.

More information on the 2015 Ibrahim Index of African Governance can be found here.


Proposed targets:

            16.1 Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related deaths everywhere

16.2 End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children

16.3 Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all

16.4 By 2030, significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crimes

16.5 Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms

16.6 Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels

16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels

16.8 Broaden and strengthen the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance

16.9 By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration

16.10 Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements

16.a Strengthen relevant national institutions, including through international cooperation, for building capacity at all levels, in particular in developing countries, to prevent violence and combat terrorism and crime

16.b Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development

More on governance in Africa:

The Centre for Conflict Resolution

The Institute for Security Studies

The Africa Governance Initiative

The African Leadership Forum Report 2015

The African Leadership Forum Report 2014

Complexity, Dynamics and Risk


This article was published on the November 2015 edition of the African Business magazine http://www.africanbusinessmagazine.com

Anyone seeking to be a successful leader needs to acquire the skills to negotiate an increasingly complex world environment

Large numbers of migrants crossing borders to escape violence and seeking opportunity elsewhere challenge border post officials and Foreign Ministers alike, not to mention the pressure they create for political leaders to engage in increased coordination in real time, while managing the spotlight of the press and the buzz of social media.

Crowds of young people looking for jobs in Europe and Africa are increasingly vocal and demand the immediate attention of politicians, even though sustainable solutions would take years to put in place.

Contagious diseases like Ebola threaten harmony in previously peaceful communities, compelling global leaders to find urgent and coordinated solutions.

Policy makers need to handle complex scientific and social information with little room for mistakes, whether deciding on genetically modified seed varieties, implementation arrangements to adapt to climate change, or labour policies that balance the needs of the youth and the ageing. Leaders of countries have to increasingly mind not only what is going on within their borders, but also events in countries geographically distant from them. Company executives need to be cognizant of changing preferences and the lightning speed at which trends are shaped and reshaped, and brands lionised or destroyed.

In my book, Leadership in a Globalized World: Complexity, Dynamics and Risk, I present a synthesis of the tools available to leaders to navigate in this complex environment. The areas covered include skills to be adept at observing patterns of change; understanding the dynamics of change; and reacting proficiently to urgent challenges. Other skills relate to harnessing complexity in taking day-to-day decisions, while making smart use of tools for consultation, dialogue, empathising with others, and scanning and mapping risks.

Delivering superior performance every day requires skills for learning, innovation and creating repeated success, aided by a strong ability to work across borders, co-create with others, and imagine an emerging reality. While the tools developed are from academic research in multiple disciplines, the book relies on a series of case studies from real life to bring to life Theory U.

Learning from examples in a variety of industries, firms, governments and geographies, we discover that a good leader learns from others and from past experiences including – and especially from – failure. Good leaders in a complex world take major shifts in people, economy, resources and technology spheres in their stride. The skill of extracting and following patterns wins when many things are changing. Skilled leaders use change to shape strategy and harness the very complexity they are dealing with, to manage risks and exploit opportunities for results.

Of particular importance are leaders skilled at dealing with local and global issues in a coherent governance framework; whether at the country, corporation, or organisation level.

Good leaders know how to harness the special role of individuals and their preferences to shape common or collective outcomes beyond the scales of their geographical confines. Successful leaders in government, corporations, and civil society, as well as those interested in development, adapt “how” they engage in addition to “what” and “why” they engage in decision making.

Effective leaders are not afraid to fail and even relish it as an opportunity to learn.

Striving towards the horizon, not knowing what lies ahead, navigating through winding paths that are steep and foggy, driven by the desire to get a better outcome, makes the journey of leading in a complex world exciting.

Frannie A. Léautier


Frannie A. Léautier is Chairperson and Co-Founding Partner of Mkoba Private Equity, and previously served as Executive Secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation