Alagi Yorro Jallow

Scholars have debated the question of the state and governance in Africa without breaking any new ground.

The post-colonial African leaders for over fifty years have grossly failed in changing the character of the colonial state as a “coercive force” into authority and domination.

Critical perspectives have rightly argued to debunk blaming Africa ‘s underdevelopment solely on colonialism while Japan which was the center of America ‘s imperialism and countries of South East Asia have developed while their African counterparts have failed to follow suit

One of the key challenges of African modern states has been leadership. The state -leadership interface stems from the fact that government is an element of the state while leadership is the process or art of governing. The state apparatus is multi -functional depending on the use to which it is deployed.

The state variously could be purveyor of territorial integrity, a protector of the lives and property of citizens or a destroyer of same. In its generic essence, therefore, the state derives its dialectic from this inherent capacity for combining the powers of regeneration and destruction which is embedded in governance.

The narrative that we should be engaged in is the importance of leadership to the change management process is underscored by the fact that change, by definition, requires the creation of a new system and then institutionalizing the new approaches.

Organizational survival, as argued, depends on the ability to effectively respond to change. We contend that the creative, imaginative, empathetic, and risk-taking leader is the center of the transformation process that fosters organizational viability.

We argue that most of those occupying leadership positions in African states are incompetent and lack the moral and intellectual authority to manage and man the affairs of the state thus undermining the achievement of state capability.

We place transformational leadership as the key to the transformation of African states and contend that transformational leaders may not be the universal remedy for organizations in need of turnaround.

We observe that while transformational leaders may have the appropriate leadership style to affect change, perhaps team-led strategic change would be better oriented to future public administration and management needs in rapidly changing and complex environments.