Good leaders don’t grow like mushrooms
Economie, 6 Feb 2007 - The African Bulletin
Eric Mafuna

Interview with Eric Mafuna from 'The African Leadership Group'. ALG is an initiative seeking to encourage effective African Leadership in South Africa as well as in the rest of Africa. Previously published by The African Bulletin.
ALG's objectives include supporting the resolve to make the 21st century a truly African century, entrenching democracy and encouraging dialogue on leadership issues. It was officially launched at the Sandton Convention Centre by President Thabo Mbeki on 13 July 2006.
Recently Het Organisatie en Adviesbureau voor de Medezeggenschap ( OAVM) in cooperation with South African-Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (SANEC) hosted a fundraising dinner at the African Restaurant Swingin’ Safari in Den Haag.
Before the dinner for the select group of esteemed business men and women, The African Bulletin sat down with Mr. Mafuna and discovered that the efforts by new breed of Africa leaders and intellectuals to effect change by improving governance and deficient leaderships in the continent may be a difficult seed to sow.

Eric Mafuna said it will not be fair to blame Africa ’s protracted conflicts and poor development largely on the wicked effects of colonialism and neo-colonialism. He said “majority of African problems are the results of bad leadership, poor leadership or flaw leadership. I am not saying that all African leaderships are bad. “There were colonial leaderships that were ruthless. “There are various kinds of leaderships which are not African that helped destabilized and took us completely off the developmental track. “So, we have to do something about leadership in Africa . “Good leaders do not grow like mushrooms; we must roll up our sleeves and do something”.

Mr. Mafuna who was in the Netherlands on the invitation of OAVM a Dutch based human resource organisation said, it is impossible to sit and hope in the morning somebody will come up and become leader. He recounted on the mistakes made from the Uhuru days up to the present. “The South African frowned on the non existence of commitment to prepare African future leaders. “In Africa nobody knows who the next generations of leaders are. We can’t play lotto, we have to develop leaders,” Mr. Mafuna noted.

The Africa Leadership Group leader lamented on the poor dialogue among Africans. He added: “We need Africans to start telling their own stories. Africans have never been allowed to tell their own story. If you look at our history is not written by Africans. You talk about African culture African philosophy, African Theology, African Religion, very few of the books are written by Africans.” He asked, “When are we going to start telling our own story?” Mr. Mafuna also warned that this does not mean to exclude non-Africans.

He cited South Africa as a shinning example; the lesson from our South African setup is that you need to come up with strategies that can manage your multicultural challenges that you face.

The former President of the Black Management Forum averred that there is need to promote democracy that suits the multicultural profile of a country which creates the opportunity for the right psychological climate and proper achievement of common goals.

The African leadership Group which operates a Trust faces immense challenges to carry out its aims and objectives. Setting priorities right for the organisation has been a daunting task. Mr. Mafuna said since the launch of the organisation the demands have been huge and the reactions from the general public have been amazing. He pointed out “We have influx of inquires and overwhelmed by demands from South Africans and from all over Africa about enrolling in our leadership development programmes. We don’t have any programmes planned yet. We are laboriously working on setting proper agenda for us to start right and be self sustaining.”

He said one of their main challenges is lack of funding. “Despite the South African government opening her door for us, we have to deal with standing on our own feet.”
He observed that there are so many institutions and organisations in South Africa ranging from development, health and education that are competing for funds. “We want to launch The Africa Leadership Group internationally to raise funds specifically for leadership development”, Mr. Mafuna said. Answering a question of taking the African leadership Group to other part of Africa , the Group boss said ‘We may have started physically and geographically in South Africa , but it is intended to spread to other part of Africa.
The African Bulletin
Mr. Eric Mafuna is expected back in the Netherlands in March this year as guest of OAVM and SANEC organised events on developments in South Africa.
The Africa leadership Group which was launched in July 13, 2006 by the South African President Thabo Mbeki comprised of five corporate structures: African Leadership Development Trust ; African Leadership Dialogue; African Leadership Development; African Leadership Research and the African Leadership Consultancy.

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Sites bij dit artikel:
The African Bulletin

OAVM - Organisatie en Adviesbureau voor de Medezeggenschap

African Leadership Group

previous article on Eric Mafuna's visit to Holland (in Dutch) in Africaserver Magazine, 28 Dec 2006

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