Leadership in Africa needs to shun away from doing what everyone else is doing around the world and focus on providing solutions to specific challenges on the continent, says an international speaker and currently Operations Executive at Circle Food Group, Zipho Sikhakhane.
Africa is currently plunged into high figures of unemployment rates, slums, slow economic growth, corruption, even though the continent is endowed with many natural resources, such as gold, cocoa, oil and gas, diamond, among others.
The pace of development as many envisaged has eluded the continent, given its high potential to develop, in relation to huge human resource base, but leadership has failed to live up to expectations.
“What it really means is understanding that we need a different approach how things are done in Africa. You cannot take cookie-cutter approach of what everyone else is doing in the world,” says Sikhakhane, who has held management positions at leading global corporations, during the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Africa Summit 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
“We need to do what is specific here, we all know how difficult it is to navigate challenges in Africa, so it is important that as a leader, you understand that you need execution rigour-you really need perseverance and patience so that you can navigate all the complexities and not give up. This is because the goal is at the other side, and can get there but only if you navigate through the challenges along the way,” she explained.
According to her, the execution of vision through navigation is a big one, adding that the importAnce of really having a powerful vision is extremely crucial because what happens is that you need to understand that you are painting a future that people have never seen before, therefore there is the need for a strong and compelling vision that people can believe in.
“The vision that we need is one that believes in our own people, believing that there are quality Africans out there who are actually capable of achieving greatness, let’s support them in doing that instead of believing that we need to import instead of finding it locally,” noted Sikhakhane, who received UNESCO’s Centre for Global Education Outstanding Young Achiever Award in 2016.
“It is not like we don’t know what needs to happen, but what falls apart is each year it does not get executed, because we don’t have the patience and perseverance to navigate through the complexities along the way.
“We have credible leaders, some are questionable, others are good, but the missing link is patience to understand that this a long term gain and not from one election to another, that is not how we should be thinking about it,” says Sikhakhane, who features on TEDx Talk in the USA highlighting on Africa’s potential.
The RICS Africa Summit 2017 in its third year brings together key stakeholders in the property, built environment and investment sectors across the African continent to discuss challenges within the sector and also offer solutions.
This year’s summit was on the theme, Land and Rapid Urbanisation in Sub Saharan Africa, took place at the prestigious Hilton Sandton, from February 22-23, 2017.
The Chief Executive and Managing Consultant of Ghanaian based Sync Consult, Bennet Kpentey also says leadership in Africa needs to be visionary and understands problems, citing that leadership can affect investors decision, therefore it must always consider value of service before anything else.
Inferiority complex
Sikhakhane believes that: “To overcome inferiority complex in Africa begins with believing in ourselves and believing that we are capable of achieving whatever we want to achieve at the global stage. It is only then can you see that you are not inferior at all, just a belief that was imposed on ours in the past”.
Going global
“You have to understand that you need to create local solutions but have to be doing it in a global context, you cannot exist in a narrow environment, we live in a globally connected world but starts with the local solutions that are relevant anywhere in the world,” Sikhakhane emphasised.
Built environment
“We need to understand the importance of collaboration because it is not just about business but also working with the public and private sectors across in the space because that is the only way our property sector can continue to develop,” she again mentioned.
Source: Diasporian News||

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