CORRECTION: The ‘new Africa’ needs inclusive leaders: Geingob

08 Mar 2014 16:40pm
By Maggy Thomas
NEW YORK, 08 MAR (NAMPA) - Prime Minister Dr Hage Geingob says the ‘new Africa’ needs inclusive leaders who must understand that inclusivity spells unity, peace and development, while exclusivity spells conflicts and wars.
“Whenever you leave out one side, one race or one class, you are inviting wars and conflicts. The wars and conflicts we have been seeing all over are caused by that element of somebody feeling that he/she is notF part of that system,” said Geingob whilst lecturing at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, United States of America on Friday.
The Namibian premier was invited to lecture during the university's Centennial Dean's Distinguish Lecture Series under the theme ‘National Leadership and Organisation versus Transactional Leadership and Organisation’.
He said Africa must now have processes, systems and institutions in place in order to be transparent and allow opposition parties to be part of the system, because when the election results come out, they are not going to question the outcome.
“In Namibia, we want to build our country to be inclusive where all Namibians must not feel left out. No one tribe or religion must feel left out. That is why we say ‘One Namibia One Nation’,” said Geingob.
He hailed great African leaders such as founder and original freedom fighters Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, who fought for the political independence of Africa.
Geingob described them as “transactional national leaders” who brought about independence and freedom of Africa.
“We now have to think of having transformational leaders for Africa - leaders to transform their countries’ economies by empowering the people who were left out,” he stated.
In southern Africa, Geingob said, natives fought for colonies where white people came and settled in their region.
After independence of that region, presidents such as Namibia’s founding president Sam Nujoma, incumbent Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe and South Africa’s first black president, the late Nelson Mandela were revolutionary leaders, who accommodated the white settlers because they were also citizens of those nations.
“When we achieved our independence, these leaders could have been transformational leaders to transform the system, but they turned out to be transactional leaders for the sake of maintaining peace and a policy of national reconciliation.
“We need new leaders who are transformational to bring about a desired change, but a change not managed properly can wipe out those who are trying to think about change,” he said.
Geingob said Namibians are managing the change, noting that the country has had five elections, where somebody won and the one who lost accepted the outcome.
The next presidential and national assembly elections are due in November this year.
The Prime Minister then indicated that the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was a transactional organisation which was aimed at liberating Africa, but the African Union (AU) is regarded as transformational, because it has so far created 10 commissioners, while the rule of 50/50 per cent of women and men representation in parliament has been implemented.
The AU also created the Pan-African Parliament where voices of all people are being heard.
Geingob then took the opportunity to call on the international media to look and report on the ‘new Africa’ and its new leaders, and called on investors, journalists and professors to also be transformational.
“Some journalists are still reporting on the old Africa - Africa of coups - without recognising that a new Africa is on the march.
“Africa is moving and open to investors. What we cannot do is trade our freedom which we have fought for,” he said.
Harvard University has a population of 900 students, of which 40 percent are foreigners.
There are no Namibians currently studying at that university.