BE THE LEADER AFRICA NEEDS
ON BEHALF OF MY COLLEAGUES, I want to say a few words of encouragement and share with you a gift of hope. My colleagues at AWARD and I acknowledge the weight of the responsibility shouldered by all the people in this room for the transformation of this continent.
My colleagues and I have spent three days with you on a journey. The journey you have undertaken with BEHEARD is no small commitment to the transformation of this continent. For now, you are under scholarship and sponsorship, but it is a journey only you can complete and bring to fulfillment. The dreams we heard in this room of Ministers, leaders of agricultural institutions and policy makers are worth fighting for. To paraphrase Nelson Mandela, “if a man has nothing to die for he is not fit to live”. Your commitment to the next generation will bring these dreams to reality. The scriptures tell us that life is short and we all have but a few breaths on earth and then we are gone. Nonetheless, let it never be said that you spent your time here in vain
Some of you are young students, but we have mothers and fathers present in this room too who have left their homes to run without them to pursue a dream that will outlive them. Whether you come from rich or poor families or were sent here by your institutions of countries, you carry the dreams of families, communities and more than a million people. We want to say that we are proud of you and know that your sacrifice will bear great fruit. However, Success is not worth it if all you do is achieve it. – It must be shared, enjoyed and made meaningful to others.
The gift we share with you today is neither academic nor scientific, but it will serve to remind you of the nature of the real transformation we all hope to see across Africa. We hope that you will become the agent of change in your environment and ensure that people no longer talk about leaders as other people, but of leaders as people who do what you do. Remember that your job is not to manage people and solve problems but to align them and inspire them to pursue and achieve a new reality.
When we began this course two day ago the greatest concern in this room was of the quality of leadership in Africa. We have concluded the third day with the infusion of 54 new agents of change on the continent - One person for each country in Africa and one person for every week of the year. Some of you may have discovered yourselves at this conference, but we know for sure that you can now provide leadership in any position you are in an organization.
With those few remarks allow me to say that though we have trained you and empowered you with skills and wisdom that was passed on to us, we want you to know that we share in your struggle for self actualization, and also in your dream for the empowerment of people in Agriculture. My colleagues have worked long and hard to ensure they gave you the very best. We know that you will do the same for your people. We urge you to be the Leader Africa needs!
God Bless Africa.