President and Secretary General of the Student World Assembly at the University of the Gambia have participated in a leadership training seminar organized by the university main students’ union. “It is disheartening to know that most if not all problems on the African continent are rooted in the lack of good leadership”, SWA-UTG president Demba Kandeh told participants. “We must take our time to change the situation”, he posited quickly adding that these changes should take place without violence.
“From political and economic crisis to human rights violations, corruption, favoritism and nepotism to diseases and hunger, our leaders have failed to distinguish issues from sentiments. This has led to a situation of failed states emerging on the continent and increase in vulnerability of the larger citizenship.
Demba Kandeh made these comments during a discussion forum immediately after listening to the first presentation of the day entitled African and the Leadership Crisis by pastor Sunday Olanipekun.
Addressing participants, pastor Sunday Olanipekun, chief executive officer of War Room Gambia, said “The poverty, corruption, diseases, wars and conflicts on the African continent are as a result of leadership crisis. Take any nation on the continent, there is leadership predicament, he added.
Pastor Sunday went on to say leadership and integrity are mutually inclusive but in Africa, what we have is leadership without integrity. “There is a difference between holding leadership position and being a leader. A leader should have the capacity to rally men and women to a common purpose for a common good. This is made easy if one possesses a character which inspires confidence.
Many leaders on the continent today are plagued by integrity crisis from the government to the business community and organization. What most has not notice is the inseparability of leadership and integrity. Once you lose integrity, it becomes impossible for you to maintain a good lead. In Africa, once they (the leaders) lose the grip, they try any means at their disposal and this is what always results in force.
For his part Dr. Abee Abraham of Haggai Institute of Management, presented on the topic paradigms shifts. I am challenged by the situation in Africa but I believe that we can effect positive change. Dr. Abraham called on the participants in particular and the African people in general to change their attitudes. He said as Africans we should shun the widespread but false inferiority mentality. He called for the decolonization of minds on the continent.
Ousman Bojang president of the University of the Gambia Student Union (UTGSU) gave the welcome address, while Kumbel Good UTGSU’s Information and Public Relation Officer (IPRO) gave the vote of thanks.