There’s a famine of leadership in the world, says Ezekwesili

Oby Ezekwesili, co-convener of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) movement, says there is a famine of leadership in the world.

She said this at a conference which the Savvy Women’s Circle organised in Lagos on Saturday.

The former education minister said women should be more involved in the leadership of Nigeria and other nations.

She said given the population and possibilities in women, it was at the disadvantage of any nation to sideline them.

She explained that it was necessary to break the chain of traditional leadership paths and adopt a change of mindset.

“Today’s conversation around leadership is gender neutral because the world faces a leadership crisis.

“There is a famine, crisis and deficit of leadership in the world. Whether it is leadership of families, communities, organisation, government and its institutions, there is a famine of leadership.

“And the famine does not have to do with whether you are an advanced society or an emerging or developing society. The world is earnestly in search of leaders and leadership.

“Leadership is that capacity to mobilise group resource to deliver on a common objective and to solve a particular problem.”


“I was on Morocco sometimes in July and I was amazed about how clean the roads were. The fact that you couldn’t find trash on the street, whether in the city or in the suburbs, it was just awesome,” she said.

“I had to ask one of the senior leaders in the country how they became like this and he said to me it took over 30 years.

“He said the first king of the country was the one that began the mind-set change and today, every child born in Morocco immediately knows how to handle trash, that they don’t throw dispose thrash indiscriminately. Then I tweeted about “pick that trash”.

“Today, three cities in the country have launched the #pickthattrash initiative.

“That process of the mindset change, we should have started thirty something years ago, but the next best time to start is now. And I believe that the consciousness will walk its way in.

“It is a decadent state of mind for us to not see that trashing our environment is trashing ourselves.”