By Isaac Kyei Andoh
Much has been said about the emancipation of Africa from the shackles of colonialism first and now neo-colonialism: be in control of her own affairs, create a development strategy that works within the African space and able to compete globally.
However, with many passionate calls from well-meaning people in and outside the continent on Africa to rise up to the challenge and be in control of its own destiny, no singular work provides what can be called a blueprint in a comprehensive fashion than Prof Goski Alabi’s yet to be outdoored Four Hundred Paged book: Managing for Excellence in the Twenty First Century: The Total Quality Approach
The book is a game changer for the African Continent and one that should drag every citizen and decision maker to the corridors of thinking place.
The key message the book has for us as Africans is that we need to think our way out of the many under development challenges confronting us because things don’t get better just by the click of a button.
Development is planned and executed with the unborn in mind.
Over the years, all we have done is to look up to the west, go to them with cup in hand and failed to look within for answers to our problems and then blame them for everything that is wrong with us
Our problems currently cannot be blamed on the West but rather on our own ineptitude and in many cases deliberate refusal to do the right things for collective and generational gain of the people and yet to be born.
Incompetence, corruption and lack of foresight has been the hallmark of most African leaders and the result of such leadership is the ever increasing poverty rate.
Professor Goski’s message for the continent is a call to strategic leadership that places the responsibility of building the nation on not only the elected few but the entire citizenry
From governance to academia and entrepreneurship, the book speaks to every level one may find himself: there’s a place for leaders and a place for followers.
She defined quality leadership as leaders and followers working together for a common goal (SEEKS ACHIEVE NECESSARY AND CONSRUCIVE CHANGE
The first opening chapter which talks about Philosophical Perspectives of Managing for Quality is not only intriguing but thought provoking.
Here, Professor GoskiExplains strategic leadership and examine its relationship with development.
She goes further to link it to the very anatomy of the Africa continent: language, culture, religion, artificial boundaries and all that makes us Africans but need to be redirected to catapult us to the level of development that gives meaning to the many advantages we have over the rest of the world.
In a call for the need for a paradigm shift from the way things are done, she had this to say about education in Africa
“Education should be concerned with how learning takes place and how education can be used to assist individuals and groups to overcome mental slavery; to unleash the potential in us; to resolve the critical issue of educational disadvantage by examining our educational philosophy, priorities, and delivery; to combat social exclusion and discrimination; and to challenge economic and political inequalities as we embrace globalization. The aim should be a view of securing our own emancipation and promoting progressive social change. The goal is to enhance quality of life for the African people through value addition and education.”
The book calls on Africa to take another look at the strict adherence to inherited colonial system of governance we call Democracy that has reduced our people to talking and dominating the airwaves with vulgar languages in the name of freedom of speech and possibly replaces it or redefine it so that we have a system that will bring the people to a place where they make meaningful contribution to development because talking because one has the right doesn’t build a nation.
If we are really independent, then we need to purge ourselves off the defeatist mentality, stop playing the victims card and come to the realisation that until there is a scalable African dream, rigorously pursued by those at the helm of affairs in collaboration with the citizenry, we will remain slaves in our own minds and inferior to other races
Until the African believes that he is the hero and villain of the good and bad that happens to him, until he kicks himself for his failures and ceases to blame his rich uncle and father, the continent will continue to depend on aid, sign trade agreements that open our ports and borders to foreign goods and we on the other hand will continue exporting raw materials at their primary stage with little to zero value added and cheaply so.
In a nutshell, the first chapter of the book calls on Africa to see itself as capable, do things that factors in the continent’s distinctiveness, overlook the artificial boundaries that separates and has made us many unviable nations competing against each other instead of collaborating, take advantage of our numbers Odo things with the next generation in mind.
When we fail, we should take responsibility, right the wrong and move on without shifting blame on the West because every people have the right to seek after it their own welfare.
Mistakes are part of learning we shouldn’t be Afraid to make them. Thankfully, there are blueprints from China, Singapore, Malaysia and many once rated third world that are now rubbing shoulders with the most advanced to guide us.
If Africa has lost her way or never had a way: Managing for Excellence in the Twenty First Century: The Total Quality Approach brings us to the starting point and we must accept the challenge.
This is the syllabus for building the African Dream
More to come