I write this article to respond to Amani institute’s inquiry whether I have an interesting initiative to sort out the mess of corruption, in our discussion on twitter I posted the following statement “Africa we need to be bold enough to confront corruption for it is among the main causes of social problems we face”.
I think I have an interesting initiative, but the initiative will be understood by us first understanding why we are where we are,by us understand how we reached the place that we are. For us to solve the puzzle of our problem, according to Henry Mintzberg, in his article Time for plural sector, he reaffirms my position that we are suffering from social injustice because of the imbalance that was created by the founding fathers of our African nations,maybe because somebody dreamt of a short-term dream. The imbalance between the public sector and private sector is the result of assuming the danger of what was a distant threat four decades ago.
We are where we are because the government that is supposed to protect its people have neglected their responsibility, they have co-opted with the private sector or they have been overwhelmed by the forces of globalization hence unable to act, on the other hand the private business have leveraged on their strength to squander from the government, and exploit citizens because most of the private businesses sponsor political parties hence get kickbacks and are not questioned on their daily endevour. This has hindered the development of most African countries.
How then do I think we can bring sanity in Africa? I want to agree with David M. Chavis & Kien Lee that we have to initiate strategic collaboration and partnership within communities. I know it will interest you to know that a community is not what has been defined for decades, it has acquired a new meaning a community is not a place, a building or an organization nor is it an exchange of information over the internet . According to their article –who is a community anyway– They have defined a community as both a feeling and a set of relationships among the people. People form and maintain communities to meet common needs.
They continue observing that members of a community have a sense of trust, belonging safety and caring for each other. They have an individual and collective sense that they can as part of that community influence their environment and each other. I think if we have to neutralize the power of both the government and private businesses then we need to encourage development of communities that value integrity and respect for humanity. People will know who is not part of their community because of that shared feeling of the community and culture of doing things.
I am not trying to advocate for tribalism and nepotism, not at all. Communities can be neighborhood, companies, schools and places of faith, therefore, this are places that we are going to start forming social initiatives geared towards doing good and eradicating the social evils. The social initiatives will be started in cells, through informal institutions within the communities-example coffee meetings, chama meeting and like the ripple effect in the ocean, they will spread by joining and connecting through social media tools to spread the effects throughout Africa.
Radical renewals in the African society will start from communities, with groups of people exhibiting the inclination independence and resourcefulness to tackle endemic problems head on. We will need to create that environment. I believe the, individuals have to take responsibility, organizations have to take responsibility in creating constructive social movements and social initiatives that are able to think globally while having the ability to execute projects in their locality. This is what Henry mintzberg term as plural sector that will bring the balance that we desire
The communities will be required to take their position to speak against imperialism, social injustice and corruption in Africa while simultaneously teaching and training people to respect other people’s opinions.
We have to learn to develop social impact fellowships as Monisha Kapila observes in her Article how fellowship can inform talent management published in Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) on May 11th 2015, these will be appropriate vehicles to advance the concept of responsible leadership in Africa, However many of the fellowships that have been developed in Africa unfortunately have been marred by political manipulation which has discouraged many from applying. Nepotism and tribalism has taken center, when the selection starts.
We have to protect the integrity of every social initiative we start for us to succeed in transforming Africa into a better place devoid of poverty ignorance and diseases.
So,to Amani institute,and to all of us that espouse the role of social innovation in transforming Africa, we have the moral responsibility to initiate formation of communities, communities that denounce corruption, communities that denounce social injustice, but appreciate those communities that espouse protection of economic rights of the unlucky in the society of those at the bottom of the pyramid.
To Ignite Africa Youth I commend your effort, we have to speak and share our successful stories, we have to voice our dissatisfaction with evils that are meted on the fellow african people both by oppressive government and private businesses, and we need to develop models of informal institutions in communities to address our problems. These communities I think will be informed by the moral values, integrity and social justice. They will include small groups that meet after work in companies that are independent, not tied to the organizations they work for, these communities will be composed of members of churches, young people in universities not affiliated to a certain political party, young doctors in a meeting over coffee to discuss how to better serve others as they advance their career. This is the new initiative.
We are all social animals, we will find affiliations in one form or another, but my player will be that we form affiliations that will contribute towards building Africa into the World leader in development. Just like Alexis De Tocqueville said that if men are to remain civilized or become so, the art of association must grow and improve
Let us learn and practice to develop association that will be the force that will balance the effect of both the public and private enterprises that have caused the social evils we face in our lovely continent.