The Case of Succession Planning in Africa By Javnyuy Joybert
Have you ever wondered by African Leaders (dictators) cling to power for so long. The truth is if you have ever asked this question, many at times you get frustrated trying to answer the same question you asked. Handing over power has become one of the most difficult things a president can do in Africa with the worst case in Central Africa Region (Tchad, Gabon, Cameroon Central African Republic etc). Do you remember the strong man of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh who refused to step down after being defeated?
Am tempted to ask this question, “Do you think is because of poor or lack of succession planning that these presidents (dictators) cling to power?” The painful thing is they call themselves leaders meanwhile they are rippers, they keep ripping off their own citizens. How can you call yourself a leader and choose power before the people (citizens)?
I think that if African leaders could understand the concept of succession planning, they will not fear leaving power, I think most of them cling to power because they are scared of what awaits them on the other side after they step down. That’s my point of view though.
A true leader should practice succession planning. This concept of succession planning focuses on identifying and growing a talent to fill your leadership position in the future, mentoring and coaching someone to take over. With the shortages of leadership skills, lack of confidence in leadership potential succession planning is that vital tool that can handle these fears in current African leaders.
If these leaders could establish a formal process of succession planning, they will be able to confidently rely on their successors to carry out their vision, mission and to accomplish their goals they had for the nation (If at all they had goals for the nation). African leaders (dictators) cannot confidently hand over power sometimes because they believe and think that no one is prepared enough to step into their position but developing a succession plan will handle these fears.
Note this, effective and on-time succession planning will leave a country well prepared, strong and it will help presidents leave office on time.
Dear entrepreneurs and business executives, have a succession plan and develop the employees you need for your succession plan. Succession planning is critical and all startups, mid-size and large companies need to practice. Africa lacks so many generational businesses because founders of businesses did not execute succession planning. That’s why in Africa (Cameroon) the founder of a business dies, the business die.
Javnyuy Joybert is a Social Entrepreneur, Empowerment Coach & Business Trainer/Consultant.