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African Leadership Body to be Based in Rwanda

From The New Times, Kigali.

Kigali, June 11, 2011 — Strategic Leadership Development International (SLDI), an organisation that provides comprehensive leadership skills development services across the world, will open its continental bureau in Rwanda.

Speaking to The New Times, the organisation’s Executive Secretary, Joseph Nyaisa, said that the country was selected to host the headquarters due to the leadership capacity it has shown.

"We wanted to put the offices in Kenya, but when we came to Rwanda, the reception we got was totally different. It’s easy to approach top leaders in this country than anywhere else," he said.

"The investment climate is conducive – investors are targeting Rwanda because of its good leadership. We realised that leaders are simple and approachable, unlike other countries, and this is one of the signs of good leadership."

Last month, Dr Michael C. Armour, the president and founder of the organization, met Prime Minister Bernard Makuza and discussed ways to set up the organisation in the country.

Nyaisa pointed out that Africa possesses good leaders but they have failed to demonstrate their efficiency by shunning their subjects to discuss the mechanisms in developing their countries.

“Nelson Mandela inspires people due to what he did. We have good leaders in Africa, but instead of serving people, they just scare them. It’s still a big challenge and that’s why we need to train these leaders,” he added.

He added that in first week of September, a two-week leadership training workshop will start at Serena hotel where various nationals will undergo intensive training in leadership skills.

The beneficiaries would mainly include company chief executives, government officials, private sector actors, members of the business community, and university students, among others.

Joel Ndatsikira, a Rwandan national who will head the local office, highlighted that leadership skills would facilitate the attainment of the government’s vision 2020.

"We need to achieve vision 2020 but which kind of leadership shall we use to achieve it?" he posed.

"I am optimistic that the training of these leaders will add more in terms of realising it. Instead of using key studies from other developed countries like America, we can use ours," Ndatsikira observed.

Professor Manasseh Nshuti believes that leadership skills is a good foundation that should be imparted to everyone.

"It’s not only Africa that needs leadership training, it’s every leader, like government officials and others," he mentioned, adding that, "we still need training to be informed and get best practices to develop our countries."