With good leadership, Africa can realise its potential by using resources to improve quality of life
By James Wanzala | May 23rd 2021
Visionary leadership is ranked highest among viable ways of addressing challenges hampering Africa development and quality of life.
Despite the continent brimming with huge potential, it has registered slow progress mainly due to poverty, civil wars, drought and natural disasters.
International Leadership University (ILU) vice-chancellor Dr Tim Kiruhi says through good leadership societal vices will be eradicated to realise real development.
During an interview on with Training For Life, Dr Kiruhi said Africa can be freed from shackles of poverty within a few years.
“Africa is endowed with natural resources and manpower. However, we are still poor, just because of poor leadership in political, social and economic spheres,” said Dr Kiruhi, also a founding member and former coordinator of the Ethical Leadership Network (ELNET).
The don believes leadership is key to secure just societies, human development, good governance and sustainable wealth creation.
“Unfortunately, there’s a dearth of integrity and moral rectitude in positions of leadership in government, business, corporate sector, communities, institutions and places of worship. This has led to injustice, corruption and mismanagement of resources and people,’’ said Dr Kihuri.
ILU is meant to train, develop and mentor leaders of integrity and vision, who are equipped to be world-changers and lead transformation in every facet of society. According Dr Kihuri, there is hope for Kenya because of few people doing things the right way.
‘‘It is possible to be ethical and successful even in this country,’’ said the mechanical engineer, who is part of the team that came up with Chapter Six of the 2010 Constitution on leadership and integrity .
Dr Kihuri said many ills including tax evasion and corruption are committed by those in leadership, thus discouraging common Kenyans from upholding values like integrity.
‘‘That is why it’s hard to tell someone in Kenya that you can succeed without cutting corners. They will tell you that is impossible. Imagine if all Kenyans were faithful in paying taxes, and the money is used wisely, we would be far as a country,” said the VC.
He said there are platforms including departments for inculcating leadership values in public sector, but they are not delivering on their goals.
He said leadership skills are a key part ILU curriculum. Initially named the International Christian Graduate University (ICUG) from 1980, and later the Nairobi International School of Theology (NIST) from 1985 to 2014, the university is the brainchild of Life Ministry.
It was the first second to be registered as a private university in Kenya after USIU, and is now working to have a full charter. It seeks to expand by building its main campus in Kitengela, on a spacious 50 acres piece of land, with ground breaking on June 5.
The new campus will allow ILU to expand its programmes, increase its reach and absorb more students. Currently, they accommodate few students, with a class having not more than 25 learners.
‘‘It will also help us partner responsibly with the community through amenities such as establishing an Early Childhood Education Centre (ECD), primary school, a chapel, a stadium/graduation square, research and retreat centre and a police post,’’ he said.
The university first offered Masters courses mostly in theology with a few students but now has an expanded spectrum of course choices offering degree, post graduate diplomas, diplomas and certificate programmes in various disciplines including theology, leadership and governance, counselling, divinity among others.
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