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Africa Must Groom Future Leaders - Kufuor
Source: afriquejet.com
Source Date: Saturday, October 30, 2010
Focus: Citizen Engagement, Internet Governance
Created: Nov 01, 2010

Lagos, Nigeria - Ghana former president Jo hn Agyekum Kufuor has said African countries should groom their future leaders in all spheres as a way of over coming leadership challenges confronting the continent.

'Unless the African society takes pains to nurture and groom future leaders, like is done in other parts of the world, we will continue to have leadership problems,' he said on Friday in Lagos, during a lecture organised by the Tony Elumelu Foundation.

'Political leaders must go through a systematic nurturing that will expose them to different aspects of public administration so that they can learn the rope before getting to the top level of governance,' he said.

'We also need to groom leaders at the private level. It is when there are synergies between public-private partnership that the much needed development in Africa can be ach ieved,' Kufuor added.

The Foundation is being promoted by Tony Elumelu, the former Chief Executive Officer of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, one of Nigeria's leading financial institutions.

It seeks to focus on building business leadership and entrepreneurship across Africa through mentoring, advocacy, fellowships and grants, among others.

While commending the initiative of Elumelu in setting up the Foundation, Kufuor said the continent was in dire need of political-economic transformation that could only happen through sound decisions which would encourage businesses and entr e preneurship to grow.

Elumelu told the gathering, comprising top company executives, professionals, non-governmental organizations and civil society organisations, that Africa has the exposure and the intellectual capacity.

'The continent is well blessed with human and material resources. What we lack is the right leadership and the capacity to process these raw materials into finished products. We belie ve with the right leaders, Africa will achieve a lot,' he said.

'We believe the most catalytic engagement that can transform Africa is through a process of mentoring future leaders that can serve as change agents and make the difference in our society. Good leadership, at both the private and public sectors, is very germane to the continent's progress. Just one right decision by a leader can lead to major transformation,' Elumelu said.

The former bank chief, who open a branch UBA in Ghana seven years ago, said the success story of the bank in Ghana was as a result of the right decision taken by President Kufuor during his tenure.

Under Elumelu's leadership, UBA has evolved into a leading African financial service institution. He transformed the bank from a single country focus, into a Pan African one which now serves over 7 million customer accounts in 18 African countries and operates across three continents.

Also speaking at the ceremony the Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Wiebe Boer, who was recruited from the Rockefeller Foundation, said he would help harness the economic and human potential of Africans to improve the continent.

'The Elumelu Foundation wants to drive the transformation of Africa. We want to build a Foundation that will focus on solving the 21st century problems confronting the continent,'said the Dutch-born expert in African history.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation has part of its objective the promotion and celebration of excellence in business management, entrepreneurship and leadership across Africa. It is an independent not-for-profit institution, established in 2010.
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