Leadership is an essential feature of all government and governance. Leadership scholars suggest that weak leadership contributes to government failures, and strong leadership is indispensable if a government is to succeed. But does that mean young people contribute to government failure because they are young and lack the so called leadership skills?
In Africa, for the longest time, young Africans have been excluded from issues leadership. This is because it is stereotypically viewed as a space for older experienced people, and not young ones, because they are perceived to have many years to live and hence they still have time to lead.
This was the theme of the inaugural lecture for the African Global Engagement series. This series was established in 2018, with the aim of inviting prominent African leaders to King’s College London to interrogate the leadership dimension of the security-development nexus in Africa and other parts of the developing world. The inaugural lecture titled ‘Demystifying The Leadership Capacity Deficit of African Youth: Our Future is in Their Hands’ was delivered by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo. President Obasanjo looks at the issues young Africans face and what the government and those leaders in power need to do, in order to create more opportunities and platforms for young upcoming African leaders.
In the Lecture, president Obasanjo urges the leaders to nurture and encourage young people and have good succession plans for young then.
This lecture was chaired by Professor ‘Funmi Olonisakin, Vice-President & Vice-Principal (International) King College and an introductory statement was made by Professor Edward Byrne AC, President & Principal, King’s College London.