February 2012

Emerging and Non-Emerging African Countries: A Statistical Exploration of the Leadership Factor

Monique Theron

This paper draws on the insights of the author’s previous paper for DLP, African Trends and Transformation.

Using the DLP’s African Heads of State database, this paper explores the potential contribution which leadership may have made to the stories outlined in a well received study on Emerging Africa: How 17 Countries Are Leading the Way by Steven Radelet.

Key points:

Theron compares the heads of state from both emerging and non-emerging countries, looking at their level of education, fields of study, age, career history and political backgrounds.

The analysis indicates that the Heads of State in Radelet's category of Emerging countries have in general had higher levels of education, are more mature, have a different and more diverse career history.

They also have less military experience than (a) their predecessors in their own countries before the mid-1990s and (b) the leaders of non-emerging countries.

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Emerging and Non-Emerging African Countries: A Statistical Exploration of the Leadership Factor

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