Interview: Mandela's selfless leadership a great lesson for African leaders, youth: Expert   2013-12-17 08:45:46            

ACCRA, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- A Ghanaian international relations expert has urged present and future African leaders to take a cue from the legacy of late South African political icon, Nelson Mandela.

"Recognizing that there were other equally qualified South Africans who were capable of doing what he (Mandela) was doing, he relinquished power after just one-term in office," Boni Yao Gebe, a senior research fellow at the Legon Center for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD), University of Ghana, told Xinhua in a recent telephone interview.

He said the principled stance Mandela took, ceding power just after one term in office (from 1994 to 1999) was a good example all leaders on the continent should copy.

"He served only one term - 1994 to 1999. He could have actually perpetuated himself in power but he didn't do that. So the important thing is what you can do for your people who are poor, who are marginalized, who need the resources to develop, not only their country, but also themselves. Let other people also come in and contribute their quota," the research fellow maintained.

Gebe urged other African leaders to be willing and ready to obey the constitutions of their countries so that posterity would remember them, not for the bad things but for the good things they did.

He observed that at the time Mandela took up the fight for South Africa's liberation in the 1960s, leading to his long incarceration, he was a youthful and exuberant guy but he put aside everything else and sacrificed himself for the liberation of South Africa.

The research fellow referred to the current scenario where the youth of Africa were running away from the continent to seek greener pastures abroad.

"If they run away from the continent to seek greener pasture outside, who is going to develop the continent?" Gebe questioned, adding: "I think the youth of Africa must not forget about that."

He urged Africa's young intellectuals and professionals to take a cue from Nelson Mandela's selfless leadership and learn to sacrifice for the continent, adding that "Today, we are celebrating the liberation of that part of the continent, South Africa. The progress and development in South Africa are equally the issues and concerns which are relevant to the people of Ghana and other parts of the continent."

Editor: Luan
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