People Who Perpetuate Poverty in Africa are Leaders Who Overstay in Power

Posted: April 24, 2019 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

People Who Perpetuate Poverty, Instability and Criminality in Africa are Leaders Who Overstay Their Welcome to Power

By Chol Duang, Juba, South Sudan

Wednesday, April 24, 2019 (PW) —- Over the years African and Western scholars, experts and observers alike have argued that poverty in Africa is undeniably a result of bad leadership and governance. Several Pan African leaders themselves have admitted this truth, albeit reluctant about it. Many younger Africans who are informed and desperately want change on the continent believe that poor leaders who come to power on ethnic, sectional or regional agenda are largely responsible for grinding poverty, political bickering, corruption, ethnic wars and land issues.

Others say instability in one African nation can have adverse effects across Africa, particularly on trade, diplomacy, migration and political events in nearby countries. Recently, I debated a Facebook friend who claimed that there had been biases by Western media about South Sudan and Africa. When I challenged her to point out some of the Western media biases reported about South Sudan, she remains convinced that there have been biases in the media about South Sudan which are not true.

To me, I do not believe that bad governance or maladministration, corruption, nepotism, cronyism, personality cult, electoral fraud and violence, impunity, extrajudicial executions and criminality by African rulers and their aides are mere media biases. Anyone who views these egregious crimes as biases or perceptions, and tries to discredit establishments which stand with the poor is ignorant and lacks logic.

Here is the major contributor to biting poverty on the continent: a leader who comes to power under the pretext to serve the people; but, as he gets entrusted with leadership of the country, he begins to dismantle and make changes to the constitution, introduce laws that dispossess people of their power and render them powerless and vulnerable to his rule. Africans elect leaders on fear and false promises; they elect criminals who disguise as great leaders, because they wear clean-cut suits and have money.

In Africa, you must employ criminality to earn your wealth to use for seeking public office. Political events and dynamics across Africa are inseparable in a sense that an African thug or racketeer would easily be elected to a leadership position by ignorant Africans who credulously get bamboozled; a person of integrity and principles cannot be elected! It has been witnessed in much of Africa.

Hallmarks of an Africa ruler:

 Make unilateral changes to constitution, sparking constitutional war or crisis; give self sweeping and far-reaching powers; surrounds himself with relatives, friends and internationally recognized crime rings who pose as genuine business leaders. Such a leader becomes less engaged with those who elected him and more involved with the few who conduct his businesses. As his family, friends and associates get wealthier and more powerful, the rest of the society gets poorer and vulnerable.

The result of such leadership is poverty, instability and political disorder in a country. While leadership position may come with power, prestige, respect and admiration, it calls for integrity, conscience, self-awareness by looking at yourself as leader not a ruler. For us to save our people from poverty and diseases, we must encourage integrity, honesty, servant leadership and stay true to oneself and people; keep away from electing demogogues and self-centered individuals.

Chol Duang is a South Sudanese TV & Print Journalist based in Juba, and the co-author of “The resilience of South Sudanese farmers”. He can be reached via his email:

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website. If you want to submit an opinion article, commentary or news analysis, please email it to PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website do reserve the right to edit or reject material before publication. Please include your full name, a short biography, email address, city and the country you are writing from.

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