Francis Okomo- Okello, Advisory Board Member and Executive Fellow- Strathmore Business School shared the following remarks during the recent 2016 IESE Global Alumni Re-union themed: ‘Be the Change – Leadership for a Positive New Era.’ He gave a perspective on how internalization is contributing to the socio -economic development of Africa. Francis is also the immediate past Chairman of Barclays Bank of Kenya, a board member of Barclays Africa Group and the Group Chairman TPS (Eastern Africa)-Serena Group of Hotels, Lodges & Resorts.
Africa’s fast growing economy has become an integral part of the world economy through the global value chain . Africa’s optimistic growth path has been largely based on improved political, macro-economic stability and micro economic reforms supported by the following key factors among others: Abundant natural resource endowment, expanding regional markets, demographic dividend and youth bulge, improved infrastructure, the explosion of small scale enterprises/informal sectors, accelerating technological and digital innovation and on-going urbanisation.
The recent report by the McKinsey Global Institute (September 2016): Lions on the Move II: Realising the Potential for Africa’s Economies, largely endorses the validity of the Africa Rising narrative. However the report identifies some of the following issues as some of the impediments to the full realization of Africa’s economic growth Agenda and which issues need to be urgently addressed:
The most crucial impediment to Africa’s growth potential relates to the quality of management and leadership in the public, private and civil society sectors.
How can leaders prepare to manage the inevitable change? The nature of current global challenges heavily characterised by unprecedented volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguities (VUCAs) continue to necessitate an urgent call for Leadership with crucial roles for global citizens in tackling these challenges.
To be effective leaders in a tumultuous world requires honing of some of the following leadership traits or skills:
To reap the full benefits of globalization and more importantly play its rightful role on the global stage, Africa should curve for itself a leadership position in the world stage and be a competent dialogue partner in the discussions of its role and our roles as global citizens in shaping the direction of globalization. .