ouryThe Madiba Institute for Leadership in West Africa (MILWA) is establishing a centre of excellence for the promotion of and training in ethical and principled Leadership, Organisational Development, Inclusive Dialogue, and NGO Management for the region.

The creation of MILWA is inspired by Madiba's legacy of principled, selfless and benevolent leadership- attributes that are indispensable in building a self-reliant and peaceful society. MILWA seeks to develop a critical mass of ethical, principled, innovative, entrepreneurial, democratic and collaborative leaders at various levels of society for West Africa to continuously strengthen its institutions to be resilient, sustainable and competitive in an increasingly globalised and technologically-advanced world. The development of an effective leadership and strong institutional capacity is critical in finding durable and home-grown solutions to Africa’s massive security and development challenges.

Africa has produced some of the most brilliant, decisive, and transformative leaders in history. Prominent among those leaders are Kwame N’Krumah, Thomas Sankara, Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan, Thabo Mbeki, Julius Nyeyere, Houephouet Boigny, Wangari Maathai, Desmond Ttutu to name a few.

While these leaders were not perfect, they marked our imagination not only because of their vision, decisiveness and patriotism, but also of their selfless service to their respective countries, to Africa and to humanity in general.

On the other hand, Africa has also produced countless number of visionless and retrogressive leaders who have caused tremendous suffering to their people through bad governance, violent conflicts, mismanagement of scarce resources and underdevelopment. However, it is only by developing strong institutions to serve as checks and balance that the culture of producing corrupt and conflict-instigating leaders can be countered.

In West Africa, there is no non-governmental organisation whose primary mandate is to address the dearth of ethical and principled leaders that continue to weaken institutional capacity for the promotion of a culture of accountability, justice, fairness, equality and inclusiveness. MILWA is created to take up this challenge by working with a broad spectrum of actors to reach its goal.   

I invite you all forward-looking people to join us to implement our vision for West Africa.

Oury Traoré, Founder of MILWA