The leadership factor in emerging Africa: biographical patterns

DLP’s African Heads of States Database enabled researchers to explore the similarities and differences between the backgrounds of a range of leaders, past and present. Could certain aspects of early experience make it more likely that an individual would become one of the continent’s successful developmental leaders?  

This project draws on the database and on Stephen Radelet’s well-received study Emerging Africa: how 17 countries are leading the way. The project compares heads of state from what Radelet categorises as emerging and non-emerging countries. It examines their level of education, fields of study, age, career history and political backgrounds. It finds that the heads of state in 'emerging countries' have, in general, a higher level of education, are more mature, and have a different and more diverse career history. They also have less military experience than the leaders of 'non-emerging' countries.

 

Researcher: Monique Theron

Related items

Opinion by Alina Rocha Menocal 24th November 2014

Medellin - more than a miracle

From the most murderous city on earth to 'a new global standard for urban policy': the politics of change in the wake of crisis

Opinion by Cheryl Stonehouse 4th March 2014

Inclusive political settlements: who and what gets included, and how?

First of six posts on political settlements by researchers, policymakers and practitioners.

Opinion by Alina Rocha Menocal 13th July 2015

Shuffling the decks: quick fixes versus long-term stability

Guest post for Development Progress on 'post-conflict' DRC

Opinion by Suda Perera 22nd January 2015

Forgotten South Sudan tangled in factionalism and failed politics

A toxic blend of complex historical identity politics and short-term elite politicking

Opinion by Jonathan Fisher 4th September 2014

Indonesia and the political settlements trap

The challenges of 'resettling the settlement'

Opinion by Graham Teskey 17th July 2015

Developmental leaders, 'dirty hands', and the dark side of collaboration

The ambiguities of supporting 'developmental leadership'

Opinion by Niheer Dasandi 11th December 2013

It's all about inclusion, but how?

Guest post for the World Bank

Opinion by Alina Rocha Menocal 6th April 2016

Peace and security in Africa: from summitry to solutions

Will today's African leaders build on Mandela's legacy?

Opinion by Stefan Wolff 20th December 2013

What's in a name? Leadership as more than the 'big men' and 'big women' of history

Looking beyond 'The Leader' for a deeper understanding of how change happens

Opinion by Heather Lyne de Ver 11th February 2014

Climate change and adaptation in the Pacific Islands: watering down women's security?

How women leaders are challenging a narrow adaptation agenda.

Opinion by Nicole George 7th March 2014

About DLP

The Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) is an international research initiative that explores how leadership, power and political processes drive or block successful development.

DLP focuses on the crucial role of home-grown leaderships and coalitions in forging legitimate political settlements and institutions that promote developmental outcomes, such as sustainable growth, political stability and inclusive social development.

Find out more

News

New role for Alina Rocha Menocal

Monday 31st October 2016

After many significant contributions to DLP's research, events and impact, Alina Rocha Menocal is now moving on to take up a USAID Senior Democracy Fellowship. Alina will also continue her role as a Research Fellow in ODI's Politics and Governance Programme, on a part-time basis, and we are delighted that she will retain close links with DLP as a Research Associate.

Read more

2016 Adrian Leftwich Memorial Lecture

Thursday 27th October 2016

The University of Manchester's annual lecture in memory of DLP's founding Director of Research, Adrian Leftwich, will be given this year by Nic van de Walle, Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, on Wednesday, 16 November.

Read more

Follow: @dlprog