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African leaders have become more strategic, says Obasanjo


Olusegun Obasanjo

Africa Initiative for Governance partners Oxford on leadership
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has revealed that African leaders have become more strategic, open-minded and proactive in their decisions in recent years.

Obasanjo spoke yesterday 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), a non-profit organisation aimed at transforming Africa’s public sector.

The lecture, based on the shared purpose of building good governance and public leadership in Africa, had participants converging at the University of Oxford from within and outside the United Kingdom to share insights with Obasanjo on driving sustainable and transformative change on the African continent.


In the lecture, Obasanjo said: “Transformational leadership abhors complacency. It requires proactivity, resilience and consistency.” According to him, shrewdness in policy development and creativity in implementation are virtues that must not be ignored.

He stated that transformational leadership is not a popularity contest. “African leaders are becoming more strategic and open and liberal-minded; we no longer take no for an answer,” he added.

The Dean of Blavatnik School of Government, Prof. Ngaire Woods, praised Obasanjo, describing him as a leader who served both Nigeria and Africa with great distinction. Woods was also grateful for the initiative in “creating such a special and inspiring opportunity.”

The founder and chairman of AIG, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, also described Obasanjo as a statesman of the world. He praised the former president as “he continues to support impactful causes in Africa and all over the world. We appreciate his taking the time to share his wealth of experience and learning with the world’s future leaders.”

The visit to Oxford also served as a forum for the AIG Board of Directors, Panel of Advisors and Management to interact with the six AIG Scholars currently studying for a Masters of Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, and to further convey to them the ethos of the AIG Scholarships and the meaning of leadership.

In August 2017, AIG announced the award of the inaugural AIG Scholarships to six young and talented West Africans: Emokiniovo Akpughe (Nigeria), Efosa Trevor Edobor (Nigeria), Abdul, Fatawu Z. Hakeem (Ghana), Chukwunonso Iheoma (Nigeria), Oluwapelumi Simpson (Nigeria) and Emmanuel Taiwo (Nigeria).

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