Amujae Leader Oley Dibba-Wadda joined the West African Leadership Summit 2020 to discuss “Post COVID-19 Leadership Realities in Africa”. As the summit’s keynote speaker, Ms. Dibba-Wadda highlighted how the COVID-19 pandemic knows no boundaries, having exposed human and social limitations around the world.
After acknowledging the severe consequences of the pandemic, Ms. Dibba-Wadda stressed that this unprecedented crisis calls for leaders to take immediate action, working to ensure safer and more resilient societies in the future, saying: “It is evident that the world needs leadership at this moment, more than ever, to deal with this pandemic and beyond.”
Ms. Dibba-Wadda also noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced societies to adapt to a ‘new normal’ in all spheres of life, explaining why capable leaders play an essential role in guiding people through this transformation:
“Whilst as humans we are a very adaptable species, we are also not very receptive to change unless we are forced to, which is exactly what COVID-19 has done to us. Requiring leaders to step up and help navigate us through this pandemic.
This ‘new normal’ post COVID-19 requires new leadership thinking ‘outside the box’, and every leader who assumes such great responsibilities must have and acquire certain leadership skill sets and qualities to lead and serve.”
To conclude her speech, Ms. Dibba-Wadda shared some recommendations that leaders can bear in mind to accelerate Africa’s development in areas such as healthcare, agriculture, education, and entrepreneurship. She also emphasized that fostering women’s participation in leadership and decision-making processes is key for the continent’s progress:
“We saw countries that were affected by viruses and led by women, and the outcomes of those countries in managing such pandemic. Classic examples of these exemplary leadership qualities have been my two all-time favorite women leaders, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, during the Ebola Crisis in Liberia, and Jacinda Ardern, during the pandemic in New Zealand. They demonstrated empathy and put people first, and they prioritized the lives of their human capital above all else.”
The West African Leadership Summit 2020 also welcomed panelists Bello Shagari, Youth Activist and Filmmaker; Amyna Usman, Lawyer and Women’s Advocate; Patrick Stephenson, Public Analyst and Advocate; Kemo Bojang, Legislator; Ndeye Yande Diop, Public Administrator; guest speaker Michael Eisa, Group CEO and Founder of the Eisa Smart Group; convener Ola Owoyomi, Executive Director at WALEC; and moderator Maraya Mushka Conteh, Editor at LA FETE International Magazine.
Learn more about the summit here.