Utomi charges youths to embrace hard work for sustainable leadership in Africa

Prof. Pat Utomi

The founder of Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL), Prof Pat Utomi, has advised African youths to wake up from their slumber, engage and take charge of their future.

He said this was necessary because the current wind of change blowing across the globe is the rise of young leaders in business and government. 

He argued that Africa could not be an exception to this global trend, stating that leadership without adequate successor is failed leadership. He called on African leaders to commence the process of bringing up new generation leaders who are destined to be part of the future of the continent.

According to him, if technology will rule the future of almost every human endeavour, the transition to youth-led leadership in business and government should start today otherwise; Africa will be left behind again.

Utomi stated this at the 15th Centre for Values in Leadership annual lecture and international symposium of leadership in Africa in Lagos. He spoke on the theme, “Leadership and Performance in Africa: The Challenge of the Continent’s Economic Competitiveness”.

To achieve sustainable leadership in dire need in Africa, he called on youths to embrace hard work and commitment if they truly desire leadership.

“Nevertheless, the message should be drilled into the DNA of young people in Africa that respect and recognition can only be secured on the platform of hard work and commitment if they truly desire leadership. This is what has happened elsewhere and it is the best way to achieve sustainable leadership in Africa,” he said.

Corroborating Utomi, a former Director General, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Kandeh Yumkella called on youths to take charge and engage for every position they qualify for, noting that Africa would be better off when young leaders take charge.

“Young people should engage now and not tomorrow. They should engage for every position they qualify for. If a 31-year old can be prime minister of Austria, a 31-year old in Africa is qualified to be a parliamentarian.

If a 38-year old can run for president in the great France and became president, 38-years old in Africa must prepare themselves that by the time they are 40 to 45, they are qualified to be president of their republic. Why? The future is about the youths and not for old folks.

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