The struggle of Fragile Economies in Sub-Saharan Africa; is it Leadership or Constitutional crisis?

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Leadership in most occasions is defined in different paradigms depending on the context of argument. However, this very article thus chooses to adopt a definition for leadership, as a social engineering model, which thrives on strategies and tactics as tools to drive missions, when the objectives behind a mission are clearly understood.

For instance, in certain conditional states, it becomes relevant and convenient to enable the aged (the Elderly, 60yrs and above) to lead, while the Younger age herein is defined as (below 50’s) thus serve as a backup shock absorber to the leadership agenda. Why? Because the circumstances and constraint require extensive experience driven skill, patience and slowness to decision-making towards any of the operational executions, which experiential observation attests that such attribute and characteristic trait is averagely common among the aged, while the youthful energy and its accompanied intelligence skill addresses the shocks of internal dynamic development as a compliment to the programmed [Elderly] leadership. It could be observed that such kind of leadership style is a more conservative and inward looking strategy, for the benefit and development of an entrenched structural formation system of a country or an organization under study.

Alternatively, there are conditional scenarios that also demand the [Youthful] age with that vigorous energy, and strong intelligence to drive a leadership agenda because of the circumstance and condition, which invite strong competition, innovation, and efficient time bonded task execution. In other words for that country or an organization to stay afloat in the game of result-oriented performance, the old folks [or the [Elderly] become the wisdom pillars and the shocks absorber to back up the leadership performance of the Youthful effort, in other to avoid any compromises of the rules governing the office, while staying ahead of the market competition. This kind of leadership style is extensive and proactive as a strategy for competition and aggressive dominance against other systems, prevailing within a common market.

The article also concedes to the fact that in the management of any sovereign State, there are laws that govern it, in most cases termed as Constitutional rule. The constitution contains statutory codes that are expected to be Stable, Clear (without arbitrary interpretation) and publicized. And as it is in the quality application of the Law, it should be ‘Just’, then it must be ‘Certain’ in other to fulfil its purpose of commanding what is right and prohibit what is wrong. Yet, in the daily exchange of humans’ engagement, as socio-economic activities the process is observed to be dynamic, to be governed by these static Laws. It is on these very reasons, which attract regular introduction of policies to establish a nexus, as a string between the Law and the dynamics of economic trends for institutional functioning efficiency, as well as, effective labour performance, which the economists’ term it as policies enactment programmes.

It is empirically studied that in most cases, leaders herein, focusing on political players, act within and in accordance with established Laws of their offices in a conservative style towards their goals to avoid unexpected frictions against their personality in the near future, especially within a democratic dispensation. However, further studies depict, proactive and efficient leaders work around the rules of the office through initiated policies as strategies in other to operate beyond the established laws in favour of the intended economic goals set to achieve, as a resolution to challenges that arise daily.

The study further exposed to us, what possibly distinguishes the quality of leadership that drives a robust economy compared to a fragile economy. As a result, the phenomenon of study was probed extensively, for further diagnostics of leadership actions and inactions that promote fragile economic traits, which two different theoretical tenets emerged;

[i.] Poor prescription of policies that lack synchronization with the operating power of a working constitution of a land, to address the ever-changing economic environment to the benefit of the citizens.

⸸( In a layman’s explanation, leadership offices that lack capacity to draw quality policies as strategies to bridge the static laws of the land to meet the changing economic demands, will not be able to elevate an inherited fragile economy into a robust economy)

[ii.] A deliberate promotion of a tradition that permits only the aged into a leadership office without merit, but an opportunistic advantage in favour of shadow political engineers, for selfish agenda and invisible economic manipulations, against the ‘trust’ of the governed’.

⸸(In a non-expert explanation, an environment where a political tradition is carved, which is skewed to some selected class not by merit but an opportunism to control State resources for selfish interest, such inherited economy could never rise from a fragile status into a robust economy.)

At this juncture the subject of [Policy] becomes paramount in the study and raises the question of how one arrives in a conclusion that a given set of instruments developed will be a ‘Good Policy’, accepting the fact that a good policy is the bedrock of a constitutional efficiency. The article concedes to the fact that any set of bad policies is advocated by legal scholars to generally be a ‘policy Implementation Challenge’ not a developmental issue nor enactment. While to economists it is generally perceived as ‘poor implementation’ of policy in this essence as a misunderstanding of enactment processes. While other strands of the Social science community perceive bad policy to be policy developmental issues, meaning poor procedures in developing the policy, is assumed to contribute to bad policies.

In the community of legal scholars, it is a general proposition that a constitution is partly a sketch of economic policies in broad strokes, which is left to the legislature to fill in the economic trend demands. If this definition is anything to go by, then the question raised is, how do we determine, whether, we have a good set of policies but a bad constitutional framing, the essence of policy implementation friction? And the foundation of sustained fragile economies.

These are technical concerns the author aims to further investigate in favour of developing and underdeveloped countries of Africa.


Senzu, T. E. (2022b), The Philosophical interpretation of Fragility as an Economics concept


Other Leadership Article of the author

Is the continent of Africa in leadership crises

Emmanuel Tweneboah Senzu, Ph.D., is professor of Economics and Finance, with speciality in monetary economics, Banking Law, Econometrics, investment and risk analysis. Member of World Economic Association. President of Frederic Bastiat Institute Africa, Mercatus Center fellow; Law and Economics, George Mason University-USA, Fellow of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Makeni-SL, Faculty Fellow of University of Management and Technology, Sierra Leone.  Research Fellow of West Africa Monetary Institute, Ghana.

Post source : Frederic Bastiat Institute Library

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