Published Wed, Jun 28, 2023
Written by Sarah Pietryga
At EduNations, we not only care about the development of our students, but also the development and growth of our teachers and staff. Recently, EduNations’ Administration and Human Resources Officer, Isatu Dumbuya, attended an online training on African Leadership. Read below as she recaps her experience:
I was privileged to attend an online training, organized by the Made in Africa Leadership Conference, held in Accra Ghana, from June 14-15, 2023. It was an awesome and an impactful event. There were delegates from all around the world. The event started with an opening ceremony and a statement by Dr. Yaw Perbi, a Ghanaian medical doctor, coach, and speaker. According to Dr. Yaw, leadership is too important to be left in the hands of politicians alone. It was time for a leadership made in Africa, which would make Africa work for Africans. Leadership, he emphasized, is deeply personal. “It takes deeply transformed leaders, to deeply transform societies”, Dr. Perbi claimed.
A female speaker also outlined some characteristics which women leaders should have. She stated that since women possess unique strengths, they must be provided the opportunity to inspire other women. Her speech resonated with EduNations’ objectives to empower our female students.
There was also a panel discussion on Partnership and Collaboration. A successful leader must be able to collaborate and form formidable partnerships. If managers want to get desired results, they must find ways of working with others. Moreover, they must believe in themselves, have a clear vision, govern selflessly, inspire people, and hold themselves and others accountable.
The peer-learning session focused on the transition from reporting to CEOs to becoming a CEO. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this session was when several distinctions were made between the best and the not-so-good CEOs. The best CEOs were regarded as generalists, seen as those with the right mindset to do only what they can, and empowering others to do the rest, while they focus on the bigger picture in alignment with the organization’s objectives. The not-so-good CEOs, on the other hand, insist on doing everything by themselves and fail to strike a good balance between work and life, with less emphasis on personal growth.
The “Learning to Let Go” Leadership Transition Peer Discussion focused on our different transitions as leaders. It highlighted our affinities for our various comfort zones; which ranges from our reluctance to adopt new technical skills, to our unwillingness to change geographical locations. A resistance to discomfort, they stressed, is a resistance to growth. I couldn’t agree more, as I was in a similar position just a few years back, reluctant to leave my family, friends and my job to relocate to the province to work with EduNations in Rokassa. I am glad I made such a decision. Much attention was also focused on giving a voice to young people, fighting against corruption, and investing in people.
Day two of the conference started with a huge emphasis on trade and collaboration in Africa. The African Centre for Economic Transformation (AFCT) had been designed as a developmental tool for Africa. However, we noticed a huge gap between expectation and reality. The current focus was on how to enable realignment. The panel agreed that there should be a regional integration in Africa to foster trade and collaboration and discussed different ways to do that effectively. There was also a strong emphasis on the inability of governments to generate domestic revenues and their huge reliance on commercial banks. Domestic revenues can be generated through facilitating micro and SMEs (Small Medium Enterprises).
Our peer learning session discussed the topic, “From Impact to Legacy - Transforming Education”. In his introductory note, Dr. Patrick emphasized that we should all engage in the moral education of our students and not leave such responsibility solely to the church and parents. In addition, education must transcend the level of teaching multiple disciplines that are applicable to the African context. Towards the end of the session, leaders were given the opportunity to reflect on how much they thought they were worth. Although monetary valuation was deemed important, leaders were encouraged to put passion at the heart of their work. They were advised to invest their all into whatever they do, and they would be rewarded.
In conclusion, delegates were encouraged to embrace the concept of “The Power of One”: To build a nation requires many people and different actions. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. So we must Be The One, with togetherness as a sign of strength. We should become the change we would like to see. If Africa is to become the giant we want it to be, it’s high time we had a change of mindset.