Former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo who is Chairman of the Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG) Panel of Advisors recently commended African leaders for " becoming more strategic and open and liberal-minded" and no longer taking "no for an answer". He was speaking on "How to Drive Transformational Change in Africa" at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, in partnership with the Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG) where he articulated that, "Transformational Leadership abhors complacency. It requires proactivity, thinking out of the box, resilience and consistency. Shrewdness in policy development and creativity in implementation are virtues which must not be ignored. Transformational Leadership is not a popularity contest.”
The veteran leader added, "It is not surprising that at the commanding heights of the economies doing well in Africa today are some of the best economic managers who had proven their mettle in major international financial institutions and focused professionals who know their onions." This was a nod to the need for specialised financial knowledge for leaders.
Obasanjo cited Cote d'Ivoire, Rwanda and Ethiopia as countries with leaders who are taking progressive economic measures and recording giant strides in line with the demands of the 21st century. He particularly lauded President Allassane Ouatarra for “focusing on transformative potential in Côte d’Ivoire".
The lecture was made possible by a partnership between the AIG and the Blavatnik School of Government, based on the shared purpose of building good governance and public leadership in Africa.
Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government, Professor Ngaire Woods said, "It was a great honour to host Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, a leader who handed power to a democratically-elected President in Nigeria in 1979, a leader who opposed the human rights abuses of the military coup government of the 1990s – suffering three years of imprisonment as a result – and who was twice elected President serving both his own country, and the continent of Africa, with great distinction."