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Session Synopses

Mr. Charles Kebuchi – Chairman, Kenya Reinsurance Corporation Ltd

Streamlining the public sector: Efficient management & skills development for public servants

The public service is the government. It therefore should:

  • give technical, professional and administrative advice to ministers and political leaders
  • have the people with the necessary knowledge; if they do not have it, they must acquire it
  • ensure that political leaders turn to their civil servants for information.

 
An exception would be an instance where farsighted political leaders with their own initiatives and/or intuition will state where they want to go and demand that they be shown how to get there. The public service has to oblige.

The position of public service in the community is that it is the hub of activity that drives the economy.  The public service as a whole can be divided into (a) administrative, and (b)
professional functions.
Traditionally, civil service in Africa has dealt with administration. The new public service, however, has new ideas and new initiatives in all areas. Today, poverty reduction – or promotion of prosperity – is high on the agenda. The public service therefore has a dual role: the traditional one of administration and new roles, with new ideas to solve new and emerging problems.

The public service does not only need to keep things going. It must have the business orientation of the political leadership. The pressing needs of today force us to think up and produce new ideas; the public service must be well equipped with ideas, vision, energy, and drive.

New governments in Africa cannot only be traditionally political – we need technocrats in ministerial positions and public service people who can understand and tackle problems that have a high level of technical components.



Mr. Charles Kebuchi – Chairman, Kenya Reinsurance Corporation Ltd

Streamlining the public sector: Efficient management & skills development for public servants

The public service is the government. It therefore should:

  • give technical, professional and administrative advice to ministers and political leaders
  • have the people with the necessary knowledge; if they do not have it, they must acquire it
  • ensure that political leaders turn to their civil servants for information.

 
An exception would be an instance where farsighted political leaders with their own initiatives and/or intuition will state where they want to go and demand that they be shown how to get there. The public service has to oblige.

The position of public service in the community is that it is the hub of activity that drives the economy.  The public service as a whole can be divided into (a) administrative, and (b)
professional functions.
Traditionally, civil service in Africa has dealt with administration. The new public service, however, has new ideas and new initiatives in all areas. Today, poverty reduction – or promotion of prosperity – is high on the agenda. The public service therefore has a dual role: the traditional one of administration and new roles, with new ideas to solve new and emerging problems.

The public service does not only need to keep things going. It must have the business orientation of the political leadership. The pressing needs of today force us to think up and produce new ideas; the public service must be well equipped with ideas, vision, energy, and drive.

New governments in Africa cannot only be traditionally political – we need technocrats in ministerial positions and public service people who can understand and tackle problems that have a high level of technical components.

Traditionally, its functions include law and order, the yearly budget, and the accompanying administrative service. The new role includes the building of infrastructure – roads, telegraph wires, power installations, aspects of education, agriculture, and health. It is essential that the public service is fully conversant with the demands of good corporate governance and practise it as far as possible.

Public servants must be as good as those in the private sector. Continuous education is needed, as well as up-dating of technical knowledge and new tools of the trade, in particular information technology.

There should be cross-fertilisation between the public and private sectors, even where it concerns employees changing over between them. An efficient public sector needs to have the equivalent abilities of an MBA.



Mr. Malcolm Hewitt – Managing Director of Barclays Bank PLC

Practical leadership in Africa

Practical leadership in Africa needs to be looked at from a number of perspectives. These include:

  • Your personal leadership brand – What do you stand for?
  • Your colleagues
  • Your customers
  • Your company
  • Your community
  • Your four key responsibilities as a great leader
  • Your prioritised qualities required for success
  • Your formula for success as a leader
  • Your behaviour – it’s not what you say but what you do.


Ms Evelyn Mungai – President, All Africa Business Women’s Association , Kenya

Women and Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence has been defined as the ability to understand and apply emotions in terms of energy, information, connection and influence.

This presentation considers whether or not women have a higher EQ than men, and suggests that the answer could be ‘yes’, as they would not survive otherwise. Organisational life calls for discipline, and a ‘macho’ attitude frequently says that emotions are bad, for various reasons, and that they belong only to women.

However, the realities of the 21st century, with its constant change and uncertainty, result in emotions – often negative ones – such as frustration and anger. The London Business School has found that it is not easy to find people with the required ‘soft skills’, such as coaching and mentoring, team-building and nurturing self-esteem. Transactions with a high EQ quotient are usually a ‘win-win’ situation, with adult interactions between people benefiting everyone involved.

The fact is that emotions drive beneficial attributes, such as energy and creativity. If we ignore our ‘heart’ we cannot fulfil our potential. Ms Mungai draws on her own experience as a Rotary President to compare assertion with aggression, and point to where characteristics such as charm and compassion fit into the equation. Unlike IQ, EQ can be developed, and women who are clever pick a career that suits their strengths. Is the era of women leaders drawing near?



Dr. Eben Botha – Head: Business Services, Centre for Leadership Studies, University of Stellenbosch

Building an African business leadership model

Leadership is acknowledged to be the transformational key that will unlock the huge potential that Africa and its people have to offer the global community.  Africa is a continent with exponential challenges, some historically shaped by exploitative colonial powers and others shaped by poor leadership, both subsequently characterised by the brutal abuse of power.

The legacy of challenges for Africa ranges across  scenarios of severe poverty, lack of

infrastructure, corruption, poor educational and health services and break-down in the rule of law.  However, Africa is not only negative; Africa is a powerful continent, blessed with rich human capital and an abundance of natural resources.  For Africa to flourish, leaders in the business community need to be able to rise above merely serving as managers and become a real force for change in business and society.  This postulates that good leaders will build effective organisations which serve the communities in which they prosper, helping to develop economic growth and social upliftment.  

 Organisations can only serve the community once global competitiveness is achieved through competent leadership. Transformational leaders are those  who lead people with passion, drive transformation, and manage performance; exemplary leadership behaviour and practices is essential.

 This presentation shares a leadership model developed by the Centre for Leadership Studies at the University of Stellenbosch Business School, which assesses dimensions of leaders’ behaviour in terms of their ability to initiate and lead change within organisations with the purpose of achieving sustainable impact or improved performance.  The model is measured by an instrument referred to as the Leadership Behaviour Inventory (LBI), which is based on inter alia constructs of charismatic leadership, transformational leadership and visionary leadership.



Mr. Bryan Hattingh – Chief Executive Officer, Cycan

Risk-taking and decision-making

This presentation  calibrates what the definition, dynamics and contexts of risks are. It describes how to identify, understand and mitigate risk in specific circumstances. A key aspect of the talk deals with how to change one’s perspective of risk and how to transform risk into reward on a sustained basis. It  explains how to qualify, categorise and prioritise fundamental decision criteria and how to develop generic and specific frameworks for making optimal decisions. The need to  recognise and understand the dependencies and variables pertaining to any decision.



Chief Michael Ade Ojo – Chief Executive Officer, Elizade Group, Nigeria

Building successful small businesses

All over the world, the contribution of small and medium enterprises to the growth of various economies cannot be overemphasized. From China, where such enterprises constitute the engine behind private sector growth, to Africa, where in some countries more that 55% of the working population (excluding the informal sector) earns their living this way, they hold enormous potential to eradicate extreme poverty on the African Continent.

Africa needs to play a key role if the world is to achieve the Millenium Development Goals by 2015. This onerous responsibility therefore calls for concerted effort from both African governments and entrepreneurs who need to produce the African equivalent of the Chinese “economic miracle”

To successfully meet this challenge, Africans must first inculcate the spirit of entrepreneurship and job creation. We must have a dream that translates into a vision and mission – the essential ingredients of growth in our businesses.

For our generation of entrepreneurs, our success will be measured by our ability to create a self-sustaining mechanism in the transition to subsequent generations of entrepreneurs.



Dr. Patrick Utomi - Professor, Lagos Business School

Change leadership

We live in a time of rapid change.  High levels of uncertainty result from technology, globalisation, the shift into transition societies for those  experiencing political or economic transformation, and the changing nature of how men work.

Clear directions that produce results amid uncertainty is what leadership is about.  How does a person move from transactional capabilities to transformational ability in public or private organisations?

The presentation  examines the skills, values and context that make transformational leaders.



Dr. Kedibone Letlaka-Rennert, Ph.D – Chairman, Phambili Strategies & Solutions International

Engendering an entrepreneurial spirit:  Women in leadership

The fact that our workforce reflects the male-female ratio of the country in the lower ranks of  organisations, but not at the top, is because women historically have not been given access to upward mobility into positions of leadership. While this is changing, it  is not occurring rapidly enough or in the volumes necessary to bring about equity in the short-to-medium term.

 This presentation contends that  women’s equity  issues should be closely linked to leadership and entrepreneurship.

If  Africa is to prosper, it is essential to develop an African entrepreneurial corps that is half female; an entrepreneurial spirit can be engendered through training and development, as well as  infrastructural support, which  will advance the continent as a whole. So, for sustainable development, women leaders should emerge in far larger numbers.

Entrepreneurship is not intrinsically male. The blame for the fact that it seems to be, lies with everyone –  men for the barriers they have instituted and their  belief that women are less capable, and women for accepting the situation too meekly.

Women have always possessed the requisite skills to lead and run businesses, but these skills are  found in unconventional places. To raise children  and run households require the same skills needed to run a company or run for political office.

The feminine orientation will be defined and illustrated as being predisposed to making decisions and choosing to do things for the greater good of all  concerned. This  is also informed by a cultural tradition which has, ironically, oppressed women in the past. Women can be exceptional leaders.

Ground-breaking research  in South Africa has given rise to an indigenous Women’s Self-

Empowerment Leadership model. This  takes a fresh look at dealing with the topic of women’s leadership. This approach addresses the unique challenges that women face as they climb into increasingly higher levels of leadership. Self-help principles are used to empower women to identify and target their leadership or entrepreneurial goals and  adopt strategies for attaining what they seek.



Mrs. Helen Nicholson – Director, HIRS

Networking – The unwritten rule of business every woman needs to know

The steps involved in successful networking are explained and discussed. These include:

    • understanding the value of building one’s brand both within organisations and externally in industry
    • learning  the how-to of effective networking to forge alliances with key stakeholders to build your career
    • realising that networking is the key critical success factor for women identified by the Insead   Business School in 2003
    • developing a complete networking strategy
    • expanding your business network.


Dr  Renate Volpe – Director, HIRS

Changing roles

Global trends are changing. There is a movement:

  • for people to take back responsibility
  • away from all forms of dominance
  • encouraging power to stem from respect rather than from fear.

What do women have to do to align themselves with global trends?

The magic of power:

  • Female power is creative and initiating.
  • Male power implements and completes.

 

Self-sacrifice and the final frontier:

  • Are we programmed by generations of culture, myths and beliefs?
  • Do we allow social expectations to dwarf the power of our potential?
  •  

The Wendy dilemma:

  • Choose a mate over marriage.
  • What does a successful adult love script look like?

The adversity quotient:

  • Stay in touch with the CORE of yourself.
  • Use obstacles as stepping stones and turn them into opportunities.

 



Miss Rose Umoren – President, Global Money Limited, Nigeria

How external debt directly impacts African businesses and why business leaders need to take an active part in resolution negotiations

From only Zambia in 1974, the external debt crisis has escalated to engulf two-thirds of African countries, even as the continent’s need for capital inflows increases. Both the crisis and capital need increasingly give creditors power over internal policies and programmes. The exercise of this power  impacts more on African businesses than on governments. Yet, external debt contraction, management and retirement, including the resolution of the ongoing crisis, have been accepted as a political issue, left entirely to politicians. The twin result is sub-optimal sovereign borrowings and a managerial `go-slow’ approach to the debt crisis. Attendant on these have been intensifying the debt burden on many countries,  and policies and programmes which often penalise African businesses. Debt, to be optimal, requires entrepreneurial rather than managerial handling and only businesses can provide that. For a comprehensive, resolution of the continent’s decades-long debt crisis and productive new sovereign borrowings beneficial to enterprise, business leaders must take an active role – not just interest –- in the requisite processes, both on country and continent-wide levels. 


Mr.  Lee Karuri – Chairman, Kenya Private Sector Alliance

Building a private-sector umbrella institution

This presentation shares  the process of building the umbrella body of the private sector in a country through  experience in Kenya, where we have successfully built the Kenya Private Sector Alliance over the last two-and-a-half years.  The institution is now very influential and is currently partnering the government of Kenya in all economic and socio-recovery programmes.  It is a major success story for the private sector in Kenya.



Mr. Stanley Subramoney – Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Price Waterhouse Coopers

How to build trust with employees, customers, the media and the community

Building trust requires refreshingly candid views on the obligation of corporations in promoting the benefits of greater corporate transparency.

People buy and buy more from the business they trust. Corporate reputation, like communication, does not belong in any one area of the business; it is the sum total of the business.

These issues will be covered in detail.



Mr. Herman Mashaba – Chairman, Leswikeng (12/10)

Building a company/brand in a volatile environment

This presentation covers the following:

    • How & why Black Like Me was conceived
    • Overview of the black hair care market
    • Major challenges faced by Black Like Me before the birth of the new SA
    • Key success factors behind Black Like Me
    • Black Like Me yesterday, today and the future


Ms Joyce R. Aryee – Chief Executive Officer, The Ghana Chamber of Mines

Training the next generation of women leaders

Africa is blessed with a great potential of talented women leaders who have excelled in various fields of endeavour.
The challenge is for African women leaders to recognise the importance of skills transfer as the critical means by which younger women would learn. The ability to transfer knowledge on an inter-generational basis is therefore crucial for the sustainability of a progressive development agenda for the new crop of women leaders.
Once a leader is genuinely interested in the well-being of those around her, the determination and drive in that group becomes activated in a remarkable way. The starting point for all achievement requires drive, determination and desire. Hence, there is a need for women leaders to institute these qualities into the next generation of young women.
Personal empowerment should be encouraged in our young African women by training them to be able to commit themselves to overcome challenges as they strive to become leaders.  Self-empowerment and self-esteem are two of the issues that need to be addressed.

This presentation highlights the importance of training and mentoring young African women in their development as leaders.


Dr. Ekwow Spio Garbrah – Chief Executive Officer, Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation

How to unlock the ICT potential in your organisation    

As more than 150 Heads of State prepare to gather in Tunis from November 16-18 for the World Summit on the Information Society, and some 50 of them also prepare to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting  a week later in Malta, organised under the theme ‘Networking the Commonwealth for Development’, there is evidence that global attention in recent years has been riveted on how Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can unlock the power and potential of countries, governments, companies, enterprises, communities and individuals.

Although Broadcasting, Telecommunication, the Internet and Information technology (all part of  ICT) are available to the different user-groups in varying amounts (which is what constitutes the digital divide), there is now no dispute that ICT can make quantum contributions to the development of countries, efficiencies of government, profitability of businesses, better relations amongst communities, and improved performance and productivity of individuals.  

Examples from Africa and elsewhere shows the rapid increases that have taken place in recent years, especially in the areas of mobile telephony penetration, ownership of private TV and FM stations, and access and use of IT especially in schools, corporations and in government agencies. From e-government to e-commerce, and from telemedicine, distance learning to e-agriculture, there is increasing awareness and understanding of the importance of ICT in Africa. Nations have developed national e-strategies or ICT plans, and many are implementing them. Independent ICT regulatory agencies have been created in most African countries, and many state-owned telecoms companies are being privatised.  Internet cafes dot the corners of most major African cities, while thousands of retailers have entered the pre-paid and phone rental markets, creating new jobs. After many years of refusing to lend to the public ICT sector in Africa,  major multilateral institutions are coming back to the sector. Investors now see the African ICT sector as amongst the most lucrative. Many African countries would like to use the IT-enabled services industry to compete in global markets for business process outsourcing (BPOs).

In attempting to unlock the potential of ICT to empower their organisations, leaders are challenged in different ways. At the level of public and private sector decision-makers, there are questions related to policy, technological choices and management, operational issues, content creation and control, security, fraud, spam, pornography and other related vices.  There are also challenges related to, among others, pricing and costs, efficient procurement, human capacity for absorbing and utilising all the myriad ICT products and services available.       

African public, private sector and civic society leaders can do far more to unlock the potential of ICT, but must do so mindful of some of the implications and risks.