Top business execs tackle leadership vacuum during #WEFAfrica2017 debate


There were strong words on Africa’s leadership vacuum from panelists in the opening plenary of the World Economic Forum on Africa 2017.

Find below top quotes from Top Business Executives across Africa:

Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam Executive Director

“Civil unrest is the legitimate response of people to what the they see as an unfair political and economic system.”

“There are three famines in Africa today. It’s a shame on our leadership, we should be embarrassed and I include myself and our political leaders. Famine is a sign of failure.”

Lindiwe Mazibuko, South African politician

“Africa has a leadership vacuum. The current crop of Africa’s leaders have failed to deliver, yet we’re asking what these same leaders can do to make it better.”

“We need a different line of understanding of what leadership in an African society is, beyond politics and business, into the non-profit, into civil society, into churches, schools, communities. We need to redefine leadership.”

Tony Elumelu, United Bank for Africa Chairman 

“The people who grow economies are SMEs, entrepreneurs. What entrepreneurs need to succeed is that the business environment is right. The environment is stifling, they have to provide their own water, their own transport, their own electricity, how are they going to succeed?

“The truth is our leaders know what should be done. But they fail to do what is right. Some leaders are short-term in orientation and do not think about how they will be remembered beyond today. If leaders think in the long-term they will start to fix Africa.”

Rich Lesser, BCG Global CEO and President

“There are enormous challenges ahead. To keep it simple – AEIOU: agriculture, education, infrastructure, opportunity and understanding.”

“The ticking clock on education is relentless. It’s a couple of million kids a year that you lose if you don’t move forward.”



About Author

Bontle Moeng is the Founder and Managing Director of BizNis Africa. Moeng has spent 16 years working in the digital and online media industry across Africa. She applied her trade at True Love magazine prior to discovering her passion for Investment news in key sectors across Africa. Moeng previously worked for ITWeb, Starfish Mobile Technologies, ITNewsAfrica, AVATAR Agency, eNitiate, Global Interface Consulting and Havas Johannesburg. Her primary focus is to provide solid and valuable content on investment opportunities for the ICT, Energy and Mining sectors across Africa. In addition, the online news publication assists global companies to expand their presence in Africa. Email:

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