Revising the Leadership Paradigm in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Study of Community-Based Leadership


Peter Fuseini Haruna is an associate professor of public administration at Texas A&M International University, Laredo, Texas. His research focuses on comparative administration and management, administrative reform, leadership, and governance structures.


Much of the discourse on leadership in sub-Saharan Africa emphasizes leader characteristics, skills, styles, and behaviors, while ignoring the relationships, interactions, practical judgments, and unique contexts that make up leadership in everyday cultural community life. This essay argues that the focus on individual leaders hardly reflects leadership as practice in African communities. An alternative, pragmatic view based on unique historicity and cultural community norms is proposed, one that has a chance of fostering social change and institutional transformation.