A global perspective of leadership in Africa

I recently had a wonderful opportunity to travel to Europe to participate in the annual IRC Global Executive Search Partners meeting.

In case you’re not aware, Jack Hammer is the South African partner of the global executive search network, IRC – which is rated in the top three globally. Pretty impressive, and a little intimidating. I must admit, the lure of beautiful Prague and the opportunity to really get to know the intricacies of our varied partners, were big drivers, together with bringing back some best practice and learnings from around the world to share locally.

The learnings around enhanced executive search business practice were undoubtedly there – in abundance. But what really stood out for me was the affirmation of how extraordinary Africa is.

I say this, not in my typical advertorial for how amazing many different parts of the continent are for travel – I have a wealth to choose from, living in Cape Town and having being brought up in Zambia – but, rather, in terms of the high level of skill, innovation and sheer drive and determination of business people across the continent.

Despite the media locking on to the horror stories of politics and big business in Africa, there are also many incredible entrepreneurs developing businesses that serve the unique needs of people in Africa. Businesses which are socially responsible, profitable and which create opportunity for communities and individuals alike. Some immediate examples include Kenya’s M-Pesa , which has completely removed the need for cash or cards, and Zoona , which provides a mobile money solution for non-banking communities and an opportunity for entrepreneurs within the business.

It is in these entrepreneurial businesses where Africa’s leaders are emerging brightly.

But it took a trip away from the daily grind and chaos of doing business in Africa  for me to gain this perspective, and pride.

And when I came back home, I decided to celebrate this – and share it.

Michelle Bedford-Shaw
Principal Consultant

Michelle Bedford-Shaw

Africa Desk

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