On Wednesday, November 20, 2014, Dr. Samuel Koranteng Pipim, a Ghanaian author and international speaker based in the United States, gave an inspiring talk to students enrolled in the African Studies course at Regent. This was as part of the guest speaker series in which talks are given by invited speakers on issues relating to Africa and its development.
In a message titled,"Unchain the Elephant: A response to the crisis of African Leadership", Dr. Pipim challenged students to exemplify a new kind of leadership that would bring about much-needed change across the African continent.
He defined a leader as "anyone who can effect change". By this definition, Dr. Pipim called on students to show leadership wherever they may find themselves, as everyone had the capacity to effect change.
"The crisis facing Africa is a crisis of leadership", he lamented. "We need a new kind of leadership; a leadership characterized by humility, excellence and service, as exemplified by Jesus Christ.
He identified the power of questioning as the foundation of change and problem-solving. "The "why" question has given birth to many inventions. You cannot start solving Africa’s problems, unless you ask "Why"" he asserted.
He offered tips on how change makers should address problems: "You must carefully diagnose the problem. Don’t give solutions until you know why. Once you diagnose a problem, that is half the problem solved".
"If you know how you will always find a job. If you know why, you will be the boss", he added.
Quoting Ghana's first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, who said "Revolutions are brought about by men who think as men of action and act as men of thought", Dr. Pipim urged aspiring leaders not to only think outside the box but to commit to being action-oriented in order to bring about positive change:
He bemoaned the current state of politics, describing it as a "new tribalism" which hinders the objective discussion of issues of national concern. He identified the need for selfless leadership at all levels, resourcefulness in the management of national wealth, and excellence as tools that could aid in the transformation of the continent.
He stressed that in order to unleash our mental powers we must get rid of the mental chains that hold us back.
He called on young people to join the increasing number of people rising up to address the challenges confronting society.