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Wednesday, 18 June 2008

New brand of leadership in Africa ?

Tedla Asfaw

Dear host of Straight Talk Africa Shaqa,

I would like to focus on East Africa here to discuss "new brand of leadership" you are discussing today. This term" new breed of leaders in Africa" was coined  during the first term of Clinton administration to welcome the newly armed rebels turn leaders. Leaders  of Eritrea, Ethiopia and Uganda and they were praised on their "new vision" for Africa and they are still on power, some of them breaking records for staying in power than the one they chased out.

After two decades all the leaders of these countries failed miserably in bringing the rule of law or fair and free election on their countries. Here I rather take Isaias as honest for not seen as someone who is in office by the will of the people. He said he will be on power as long as he breaths that means only natural death will bring a change of government in Eritrea. Kenya who many believed as the hope of East Africa shows its tribal face in the last December election and the thousands displaced are still in the refugee camps somewhere even if there is a deal between the two groups fought deadly after the election and now both enjoyed power at this time.

Raila Odinga's visit to USA is a follow up of that crisis and until there is a reconciliation in the communities and the return of the displaced we can not talk about new leadership here. The same can be said in the rest of the Horn countries and in fact our region will be better of with the current dictators  replaced by new accountable leaders and start reconciliation at local and regional level.

Kenya as a center of business for foreign countries got timely help from West and the crisis seems contained for now. However, we are not sure what to come in the future and the instability in Ethiopia, Somalia has great impact in addition to their own tribal enmity and I hope the future leaders of East Africa think in a regional level by also addressing their own internal problems fairly and equitably..