25 Nov AN EXCERPT: 5 leadership Tools Required to spearhead Africa’s agricultural revolution.
This Paper was presented at the Tutu Fellowship, 2019 cohort. Request for a full download by leaving a comment.
To achieve any success, the agenda for agricultural revolution needs to be an integral part of the
development plans of countries. The president of the country must lead the charge as the process needs
the complementary role of various sectors. The vision should not be reduced to just paper documents
but should be what the political leadership of a country truly believes in.
The vision also has to be based on local context and having an appreciation and knowledge of the country’s political economy is crucial in this regard. To be successful, an agricultural transformation agenda needs to be based on the improvement of value chains with the highest chance of flourishing. And the most important factor to achieve this is to ensure local ownership along the process. Interventions imported from elsewhere will breed apathy and lack of enthusiasm.
To achieve any success, the agenda for agricultural revolution needs to be an integral part of theLesego
development plans of countries.
Furthermore, the agricultural transformation agenda needs to be determined by the government’s
implementation capacity. Apart from the improvement of the sector’s value chain, the role of the
transformational agenda is based on 2 important factors.
2 Factors that Determine Agricultural Leadership Transformation
The first is the political economy which often has deeply ingrained patron-client relationships.
The second is the capacity of political leadership, which is mostly plagued with low competence and dysfunctional systems, which are needed for the proper implementation of the vision.
The above mentioned factors inform to what extent leaders have the ability to execute the set transformational agenda. This ability then influences how achievable the agenda is and what plan can be used to realize the vision. More importantly the ability to execute the vision informs how political leadership review the agenda and deploys means to achieve it or abandon it altogether. In 1993, Ethiopia, for example, adopted the Agricultural Development-Led Industrialization as a policy priority. Through this the country was able to revolutionize Cut-flower and Sesame production for the outside market.
Sectors That Unlock Agricultural Potential
Unlocking the potential of a country’s agricultural potential depends on several sectors. Therefore the
transformation process does not occur in a vacuum but is an output various sectors such as rural
development, energy, gender, infrastructural development, education and finance. Leaving out players
in these sub sectors will lead to below average performance in implementing the vision. For example if
the power suppliers fail to operate within the transformational vision because of misaligned priorities
the vision cannot be achieved.
This lack of cooperation among government bodies has to be blamed for the inability of many governments to unlock the agricultural potential of their countries. In order for these public bodies to work together, a visionary political leadership is required to make it happen.
Transformation agriculture can only happen if the political leadership adopts it as part of the political
mission. Countries should also consider this vision when planning on the tenures of presidents. This
means the vision should extend beyond their terms of office and this will make the vision free of
“Unlocking the potential of a country’s agricultural potential depends on several sectors. Therefore theLesego
transformation process does not occur in a vacuum…”
It is also important to note that leadership could have the transformational agenda but they may not
possess the ability to implement it due to lack of capacity on their part. The absence of leaders with the
requisite skills to turn things around will definitely prevent the vision from being realized.. In such
situations the government may have to seek assistance to help build capacity for implementation.
Champions of agricultural transformation must be accommodating enough to work with other bodies
and agencies to ensure multiple technical expertise are harnessed.