Pan-Africanism aims at strengthen bonds of solidarity between all people of African descent.
By Andrew Tumusiime
The Nyerere Leadership Center is premised on the concept of Ekyooto, a Luganda word for a fireplace where elders, or distinguished opinion leaders, sat and passed on their wisdom, and celebrated the legacy of those that were still alive or those that had passed on.
“The platform “Ekyoto”, aims at tapping into the rich experiences of African leaders in different fields and in different national context.
The center will bring different leaders to build a think tank, nurture them into leadership skills. “ for example, The National Leadership Institute (NALI) in Kyankwanzi is good but the public perceives it as a National Resistance Movement (NRM) oriented institute.
The idea was first mooted by President Yoweri Museveni in August 2017 at the Nelson Mandela Commemorative Lecture, Museveni is a role model of the late Julius Nyerere, highlighted the need to create a cross–generation platform for promoting Pan Africanisms.
Pan-Africanism aims at strengthen bonds of solidarity between all people of African descent. it extends beyond continental Africans, with a substantial support base among the African diaspora worldwide.
The center will take its point of departure for action from his life-long held belief that “if real development is to take place, the people have to be involved.
Makerere University has allocated a historical building, a wooden house on Pool Road opposite Stanbic Bank that was already built even before Nyerere found his way to Makerere College as a student .The space around it will accommodate the Centre, renovation and construction of a modern structure estimated to cost sh4.5b.
The center is run under a tripartite autonomy of three institutions including Makerere University(MUK) Uganda Management Institute(UMI) and President Yoweri Museveni who requested MUK to host the center. it will have a board of Trustees led by Museveni and board of directors.
The board members include Prof. Edward Kirumira( board Chairman) Principal of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Dr Suzie Nansozi Muwanga from the Department of Political Science and Public Administration Makerere University and Prof. Gerald Karyeija and Dr Kasozi Mulindwa Uganda Management Institute, Andrew Tumusiime (Director Nyerere Leadership Center) and Dr. Sarah Nkonge (Educationist).
Uganda is the leading country with the youngest population in the world with 55.0 %, the State of Uganda Population Report 2017 reveals. With just under eight million youth aged 15-30, the country also has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is due to several factors including lack of leadership skills, Increased understanding of specific youth issues and needs for meaningful.
Through innovative policy research and analysis, youth training and mentoring and periodic debates, the Centre is meant to provide a platform for experiential learning and leadership development by distinguished Africans, private sector actors, intellectuals, scholars, and other accomplished African men and women to share, nurture, mentor, challenge and account to the next generation of African leaders.
The facility will train youth and other leaders and facilitate them to gain in depth knowledge of business functions to build foundation skills, strategic skills for effective decision making, strategy development and grooming of youth leaders.
We shall establish a link between lived experiences of leaders and ideologies to creatively deliver a world-class sustainable and coordinated regional approach to experiential learning and leadership development. Other activities will include promotion of a community of academic expertise and youth engagement in governance and leadership in Africa; supporting and mentoring young leaders,
It will organize and conduct youth training and mentoring programs by bridging the gap between youth and old politicians, this will help them gain in depth knowledge of diverse business functions and build foundation skills, for effective decision making strategy development and implementation among youth leaders.
The center will organize visiting scholars, programme open to students from outside Uganda and establish a resource unit on archive of oral political history and leadership literature.
It will underscore unity in diversity and respond to social economic development, research and governance and leadership philosophy, policies, values and practices African leaders.
It will establish a link between lived experiences of leaders and ideologies to creatively deliver a world-class sustainable and coordinated regional approach to experiential learning and leadership development. It will also promote a community of academic expertise and youth engagement in governance and leadership in Africa.
Conduct supervise and oversee policy leading research bringing together academicians, policy makers, activists, analysts and political leaders at various levels to engage in policy leading solutions and applied policy work resulting in publications of policy briefs and occasional papers.
Who is Nyerere?
Born in Butiama, then in the British colony of Tanganyika, Julius Mwalimu Nyerere was the son of a Zanaki chief. After completing his schooling, he studied at Makerere College in Uganda and then Edinburgh University in Scotland. In 1952 he returned to Tanganyika, married, and worked as a teacher.
In 1954, he helped form TANU, through which he campaigned for Tanganyikan independence from the British Empire. Influenced by the Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi, Nyerere preached non-violent protest to achieve their aims.
On 14 October 1999, the first president and father of Tanzanian independence Nyerere died of leukaemia aged 77. He became a symbol of the struggle against colonialism in Tanzania and to other African countries including South Africa. His commitment to the liberation of Africa from White minority rule was demonstrated through allowing several liberation movements to have bases in Tanzania. For instance, the African National Congress (ANC), the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), the Frente de Liberta de Mozambique (FRELIMO) led by Samora Machel and the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU).
In 1961, Nyerere joined other African leaders in denouncing the racist policies of the apartheid government in South Africa and declared that, if the apartheid regime remained in the Commonwealth, Tanzania would never join.
The writer is the director of Nyerere Leadership Center