Salle de réunion N. Mandela. Centre d'affaires Agora Dakar

A Tribute to Mandela


– Good Leaders create more Leaders

Nelson Mandela, very few have inspired so many people across races, social classes and even generations. He’s the pride of a Nation, a Continent and beyond. His name will be for ever associated to the Fight against Apartheid and recognised as one of the last bastions of segregationist in the World.

In my view, among all his political achievements, the less known in Francophone West Africa is probably his contribution to help Black people in South Africa to access economic power.

Through the affirmative act, the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) opened jobs and capital opportunities (that the white minority was enjoying exclusively during Apartheid) to the Black majority. The main stated objective was clearly to realize the full economical potential of a Nation which majority was excluded from any meaningful participation of the Country’s development.

Beyond this goal, the Black Economic Empowerment, contributed significantly to ensure a smooth transition to post-Apartheid era by a broader redistribution of the wealth. This policy is sometimes seen, by its detractors, as the creation of a new black oligarchy that benefits from the transfer of capital from the white minority to ANC (African National Congress) elite. Elite allegedly accused of being far from the concerns of its community in the Townships. However, Empowerment of the Black Community played a key role to guarantee a constructive post-Apartheid South Africa and different experiences around the World tend to accredit this.

Actually, my point is that our African leaders could learn from Mandela’s legacy with the BEE policy.  I strongly believe that not enough is done, in general, by African governments to create and develop a local class that is economically empowered and thus help the continent realize its full potential.

Again, it’s not about playing or not by the rules of International Business. It’s about achieving the real Independence of our countries and communities. Someone said that a true leader is someone who creates more leaders. This should be the Legacy of people leading Africa.