African Development Bank Group President Akinwumi A. Adesina has called for bolder measures to grow the next generation into competent leaders to transform Africa in the wake of current global uncertainty.

“With the Covid-19 pandemic, the challenges of debt and insecurity in Africa, and globally, with the situation in Afghanistan… effective and accountable leadership is more crucial today than ever before,” President Adesina said in a virtual public lecture on Saturday organized by the Accra-based Sundoulos Advanced Leadership Training Institute ( SALT Institute)

The lecture, the third in a series held annually since 2019, was organized under the theme: Integrity, Leadership and Stewardship for National Transformation. The audience included policymakers, civil society groups, young professionals and university undergraduates, members of academia, security agencies, church-based organizations and professional bodies across Africa.

“The absence of integrity is the equivalent of building castles in the sand. Without the foundational integrity, there can be no national or continental transformation,” Adesina said. He cited South African anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame and former Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as leaders worthy of emulation.

Adesina shared personal experience and achievements with the audience, particularly during his tenure as Nigeria’s Agriculture Minister and his current position as head of the African Development Bank.

He also shared with the audience many socio-economic interventions and achievements by the African Development Bank to ease the impact of the pandemic and improve livelihoods in Africa.

Change and transformational leadership require zero tolerance for corruption in whatever form it appears, he said.

The lecture, moderated by Dr. Mawuli Coffie, Director of Corporate and Business Strategy at the SALT Institute, also featured Allen Catherine Kagina, Executive Director of the Uganda National Roads Authority, and Dr. Nthabiseng Moleko, a development economist at South Africa’s Stellenbosch University.