An ILA Leadership Perspectives Webinar

African Leadership: Powerful Paradigms for the 21st Century

Presenters: Rob Elkington, Greg Frankson, Faith W. Ngunjiri, Gloria Burgess, Linda Sibanyoni, Seydina M. Ndiaye, Trisha Gott, and Ahmedi Afi

Date: 21 July 2022


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What can we learn from African leadership? What have Africans discovered about African leadership?  The editors of the ground-breaking book African Leadership: Powerful Paradigms For The 21st Century, will launch the webinar together in the spirit of Ubuntu to celebrate and support our collective humanity in a time of uncertainty and volatility. They will discuss the book’s back story, themes, and structure. Authors of the chapter, “Redefining Leadership through Grassroots and Political Leadership: A Story of Three Movements,” will share lessons and poet Greg Frankson will read several of the poems interspersed throughout the book.  Participate to consider how African worldviews inform leadership and followership to broaden the field beyond Western notions.  

Outcome of Attending

  • Why African Leadership matters.
  • The key themes emerging in African Leadership discourse.
  • A brief case study illustrating African Leadership theory and practice as shared by three African grassroots leaders.
  • The power of artistic expression through poetry to summarize and emphasize leadership theory.

Speaker Information

Ahmedi Afi

Ahmedi Afi, Civil Servant, Federal Government of Somalia 

Ahmedi Afi is a Civil Servant of the Federal Government of Somalia, former Political Advisor for the President of Somalia, former Director of Policy and Planning of Villa Somalia (The State House), former humanitarian worker and civil society activist. He has two bachelor’s degrees in Public Administration and Islamic Studies. He also has a Masters Degree in Public Policy and Management (MPPM). Ahmed is passionate about public service as a politician and as a humanitarian volunteer. He is currently based in Mogadishu, the headquarters of the Federal Government of Somalia.  

Gloria Burgess

Gloria Burgess, PhD, Founder and CEO, Jazz International; Faculty of Transformational Leadership, University of Washington  

Gloria J. Burgess is faculty of transformational leadership at University of Washington, Seattle University, University of Southern California, IEDC – Bled School of Management, and Maxwell Leadership. As CEO and Founder of Jazz International, she serves as leadership consultant, executive coach, and acclaimed inspirational speaker. Gloria coined the term legacy consciousness, which she writes about in several books, including Flawless Leadership and Dare to Wear Your Soul on the Outside, a book Warren Bennis declared as an “original, powerful, and inspirational work that should be required reading for all serious students and practitioners of leadership.” She has served as co-editor of ILA’s Building Bridges Leadership Series. Her research has been published in diverse journals and as chapters in numerous books. Gloria has contributed as a researcher and speaker for African Leadership Forums in East, West, and South Africa. 

Rob Elkington, PhD, Assistant Professor, Trent University Faculty of Business; President and CEO, Global Leadership Initiatives, Inc. 

Rob Elkington, Ph.D., currently resides in Canada, where he serves as Assistant Professor at Trent University Faculty of Business. Rob also serves as Adjunct Faculty at Ontario Tech University Faculty of Education and Faculty of Social Sciences, Senior Lecturer at Stellenbosch University School of Public Leadership, and the CEO of Global Leadership Initiatives, Inc., which exists to “develop excellence in leadership globally.” Internationally, Rob has extensive experience working on food security projects, HIV Aids reduction through education, poverty reduction, and securing partnerships and research around education for disadvantaged and marginalized communities. Locally, Rob also works with organizations such as the Cornerstone Women’s and Children’s Shelter, Durham Community Innovation Lab, Durham Youth Services, the Durham Youth in Policing Initiative, Durham Victim Services, and disadvantaged schools in the Durham Region. Rob’s research focuses on the intersection of leadership and society through his current ongoing research projects, such as: “Seeking Best Methods for Leadership Development,” “Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership in Disadvantaged Contexts,” “Seeking Best Methods for Police Leadership Development,” “Emerging Issues in Higher Educational Leadership,” “The Use of Meta in Military Leadership Development,” and “Developing Paramedic Leadership.” Rob also explores African leadership expressed in themes such as Ubuntu, and Ukhama.  

Greg Frankson, Founder & CEO, Voice Share Inc. 

Greg Frankson is the founder and CEO of Voice Share Inc., which provides training, coaching, and consulting services focused on transformative organizational change through inclusive leadership and effective communication. Prior to creating Voice Share in 2018, Greg was a teacher, arts educator, event producer, corporate trainer, public speaker, and anti-discrimination facilitator. Throughout his career, Greg has used his voice to create social change as an advocate, award-winning literary artist, and media commentator. Since 2004, Greg has featured in numerous audio recordings, videopoems, public speeches, articles, anthologies, and literary journals, published four poetry collections, and edited the widely acclaimed AfriCANthology: Perspectives of Black Canadian Poets. Greg is a former Canadian national poetry slam champion, an inaugural inductee to the VERSe Ottawa Hall of Honour, and past poet laureate of the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership. He was also an on-air poetic commentator on Here and Now Toronto on CBC Radio One. Greg is passionately focused on living according to his personal mission statement – to present the vision that inspires others to positively change the world. 

Trisha Gott

Trisha Gott, Associate Director & Assistant Professor, Staley School of Leadership Studies 

Trisha Gott has been the principle investigator and administrative director for the Kansas State University Mandela Washington Fellowship Civic Leadership Institute since 2016. In this role she works with a team to build leadership education and development programming for Fellows from across sub-Saharan Africa who are focused on leading civic change.  

Seydina M. Ndiaye, Social Entrepreneur & Socio-Political Actor; Co-founder, CODEVS, Collectif des Volontaires du Sénégal 

Seydina M. Ndiaye is a Social Entrepreneur & Socio-Political actor working mainly in inclusion and Youth Development in Dakar, Sénégal. He also works as a consultant around Politics & Development strategies for digital growth. Seydina is a Mandela Washington Fellow Alumni of SSLS, Kansas State University, he is a civic leadership practitioner where he is prototyping a contextualized civic leadership framework based on African local community based organizing activities & the spreading of local narrative especially through digital technology. 

Faith W. Ngunjiri

Faith Ngunjiri, PhD, Leadership Coach and Consultant, Global Leadership Development, LLC; Adjunct Dissertation Chair, Abilene Christian University 

Faith Ngunjiri is adjunct dissertation chair at Abilene Christian University in Dallas, Texas, where she advises with organizational leadership doctoral students. She is also principal leadership coach and consultant at Global Leadership Development, LLC. She is at the moment living in both North America and Africa, enjoying the opportunities available to educate, train, coach, and give talks about women and leadership, African leadership, and more! Faith is passionate about disseminating leadership knowledge, in the form of books, journal articles, blogposts and practitioner outlets. She served as a co-editor of the ILA’s Women and Leadership book series that culminated in seven published volumes. She is also a co-editor for the Palgrave Studies in African Leadership book series with Palgrave McMillan, which has so far published over a dozen volumes. Her own research has been published in a variety of academic journals, as book chapters, and in a full-length volume on African Women’s Leadership. Her most recent co-edited book is titled Research Handbook on New Frontiers in Diversity and Equity at Work (2022, Edward Elgar). She is also on the editorial board for Africa Journal of Management, the official journal of the Africa Academy of Management.  

Linda K Sibanyoni

Linda Sibanyoni, Founder, ThirdWay Think Tank  

Linda Kushinga Sibanyoni is the Founder and Managing Partner of Thirdway Think Tank. She is an independent politician who has six years of experience in the Zimbabwean political arena. Currently, Linda is focused on growing her political portfolio through continued civic engagement, following her run for Member of Parliament in the 2018 General Elections. In 2020, she founded Third Way, the political and governance think tank that has a team of young Zimbabweans seeking to provide and implement ethical solutions to the current political and economic Zimbabwean crisis.  It provides leadership training, including a foundational course Ethical Dimensions of Leadership, to young business leaders and future political leaders on key aspects of being a board member or a political office bearer. Linda says she switched careers from business to politics to be part of ushering in change in Zimbabwe and to join the much-needed voice of female youth. Linda is an auditor by profession with ten years of experience, having served articles at Grant Thornton Zimbabwe. She has co-authored a book chapter in an Emerald publication titled - Women Courageous: Leading through the Labyrinth.  And in 2021, she raised funds to drill two boreholes for a community that had had no access to clean and safe water for more than 20 years. Working with the community, they have begun a community garden project that trains local youth in agriculture.  Produce from the garden will subsidise a community soup kitchen that will operate once a week, catering to child-headed households and the neglected elderly in the community. Linda is a Mandela Washington Fellow 2019 and currently undertaking her Tutu Fellowship Class of 2022.