Paul A. Conteh
Lecturer/Public Affairs Analyst
If Francis Ben Kaifala wants to make a mark on the African continent, he needs to walk in the footsteps of the great African leaders that preceded him. Leaders who not only demonstrated courage and commitment to their responsibilities but embraced the virtues of honesty, decency and integrity every step of the way. One such person is Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Desmond Tutu is a symbolic representation of good leadership in Africa. The Nobel Peace Prize winner & human rights activist was at the forefront of liberating South Africa from a racist system of governance called apartheid. Archbishop Desmond Tutu helped end the apartheid system, witnessed and participated in the release of Nelson Mandela, and chaired the country's Truth & Reconciliation Commission – a restorative justice body assembled after the end of apartheid in South Africa.
Before his death, Desmond Tutu understood the need to train and mentor the next set of African change-makers through leadership development. That was why he co-created the Archbishop Tutu Fellowship Programme. This fellowship welcomes a small, elite group of young African leaders who hail from a wide array of sectors in the continent. From a funnel of 300 fellowship nominations, 20 are selected through a rigorous process. For this year's fellowship programme, Barrister Kaifala was a member.
The Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) participated in a leadership development programme that emphasizes learning and experience sharing, not teaching. The programme offered his cohort the opportunity to participate in a variety of creative, formal and informal approaches to enhancing his leadership capabilities. Overall, the fellowship has provided Barrister Kaifala and the other Tutu Fellows with a unique environment for mid-career self-reflection, a support system of like-minds and a pool of professionals for continuous education and accountability.
To be fair to the czar, he has made his mark in the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone. The Kaifala-led Anti-Corruption Commission has brought awareness to this social menace through public education, intensified the prosecution of alleged perpetrators of corruption and recovered enough cash and properties stolen by corrupt officials.The Archbishop Tutu Leadership Programme is the perfect platform for Barrister Kaifala to rebirth his mission as an anti-corruption champion, catalyst and crusader. This programme has not only equipped him with the skills needed for effective leadership but reminded him to walk in the footsteps of one of Africa’s greatest heroes in the person of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The late clergyman had the courage and commitment to stay true to the course.