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