Reshaping The Culture Of Leadership Among African CEOs, Entrepreneurs

As the continent undergoes unprecedented population growth, Africa is on track for a renaissance in its varied business sectors. Effective leadership will be critical in navigating the shifting economy, but are business leaders prepared to handle the economic boom?

CDC Group has established The Africa List (TAL), a leadership development programme to better equip the continent’s leaders responsible for the next decade of growth. With more than 700 influential members, TAL’s roster features some of Africa’s most promising CEOs and entrepreneurs, such as:
– Berhane Demissie, managing partner at Cepheus Capital in Ethiopia;
– Miranda Naiman, founder of Empower in Tanzania;
– Mukwandi Chibesakunda, CEO of Native Bank in Zambia;
– Jennifer Bash, co-founder of Alaska Foods in Tanzania; and
– Yohannes Tsehai, managing partner at Veritas Consulting in Ethiopia.

TAL primarily operates in six countries: the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. Now in its fifth year, TAL has set an ambitious goal to expand its training to thousands of leaders throughout the Sub-Saharan region as a way to cultivate a culture of leadership in Africa’s private sector.

“The United Nations estimates that the population in Africa will double from 1.3 billion to 2.6 billion by 2050. This population growth is putting tremendous pressure on businesses to create more jobs, satisfy growing consumer demand and adapt to a rapidly changing business landscape,” said Colin Buckley, general counsel of CDC, the UK government’s development finance institution. “In order to thrive during this transformation, The Africa List wants to fortify top executives with leadership skills and a peer network that spans across countries.”

The programme selects the leading 100 companies in each country based on current performance and future potential. Then two high-performing leaders from each company, nominated by the current CEO or chairman, are invited to join. Its membership is comprised of executives at large multinationals, local mid-market family businesses, and high growth start-ups from nearly 20 industries.

“After attending The Africa List Leadership Programme & Retreat in Zimbabwe, I met an amazing network of professionals from across the continent. When the time comes to expand my business across borders, I know exactly who to call,” said Naiman, a TAL member since January of 2018. “The Africa List forces me to obliterate the box and think beyond my family, business and country, as well as inevitably grapple with hard-hitting issues that affect our continent.”

Members receive access to large-scale quarterly networking events, an annual learning and development programme, and regular peer-to-peer learning opportunities. High-profile speakers are regularly featured at these gatherings. TAL puts particular emphasis on developing meaningful cross-border relationships, which makes it unique in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“The long-term sustainability of Africa’s private sector will not hinge on one company or CEO but many. There’s strength in numbers, and it will take the joint effort of leaders working across borders and business sectors to propel the economy forward,” said Julie Benoist, interim head of network for TAL.


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Author : ADC Editor

Publish date : 2019-10-01 11:16:56

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