KCA University and other Kenyan sponsors, including the Caux Round Table and the CRT Chapter in Kenya, last week held the 3rd Pan African Conference on promoting ethics in Africa. This year’s conference was held in Nairobi on the theme of Transforming Africa through values-based leadership.
The Conference presented panels on leadership and ethics in Africa, the project in Kenya to define a national values system that will support achievement of Kenya’s vision for 2030, culture as the source of ethics, governance and ethics and business and ethics. Presiding over the conference was Dr. Noah Midamba, Vice Chancellor of KCA University.
CRT Global Executive Director Steve Young spoke on achieving high performance government. He argued that the criteria for high performance all demand possessing a moral sense. Without moral character, these behaviors cannot be achieved in an organization.
He then noted in passing that the “Big Man” tradition in African leadership patterns was often inconsistent with the moral requirements of achieving high performance government.
The conclusion of the conference was that moral and ethical dimensions of personal behavior - uungwana in Swahili - must be prior conditions of society and culture before good government will happen and robust economic development can occur.
The opposite of uungwana behaviors are ushenzi - selfish, thoughtless, and often cruel vulgarities - that undermine civilized norms necessary for a just society. Participants agreed that the “Big Man” syndrome should be modified so that only uungwana actions will qualify a person to be a “Big Man.” Ushenzi people, by contrast, should always be considered “Small Boys” of no account.
A delegation of two ministers and 28 officials from the government of South Sudan attended to prepare their programs for the possible independence of the South Sudan after a referendum on the point next year. They invited the Caux Round Table to assist them should national independence come to fruition.
A copy of Steve’s power point presentation is attached here for your reference and review.
DOWNLOAD POWERPOINT FILE HERE.