Peter Wilson: Hoping for a better future for Africa

Peter Wilson, a Rhodes scholar from Zimbabwe, has initiated, developed and managed the African Leadership Institute (AfLI) that runs in partnership with the University of Oxford, where he studied for his masters in management studies.

After working for 20 years with the oil company Shell, he is now dedicating part of his retirement years to the institute.

Wilson not only hopes for a better future for Africa, but is determined to help create it.

Sean Lance: Rejecting a victim mentality

With a long and successful career in top level management, Sean Lance, the chairman and co-founder of AfLI, believes that leadership has become confused with management.

Lance, who lives in both Johannesburg and London, was once head of two of the world's biggest pharmaceutical companies, Chiron Corporation and GlaxoSmithKline, and has captained football and hockey teams at provincial level.

Convinced that Africa needed a new generation of inspirational leaders, he began to work on the idea of a leadership coaching process in 2006, with co-founder Peter Wilson. 

Having attracted Archbishop Desmond Tutu as patron, the two retired businessmen now run the annual programme - which is supported by four corporate sponsors - helped by many individuals who offer their time and expertise in the field of leadership.

The key to success for Tutu's Children as far as Sean is concerned will rest in rejecting a victim mentality and owning their countries' present and future. 

Dr Caryn Solomon: A modest pioneer

Dr Caryn Solomon, the global head of organisational development at Investec Bank, teaches Tutu's Children self-awareness and responsibility with the help of her colleague, Rachel Finkelstein, an organisational project consultant at Investec.  

Solomon, who is originally from South Africa, splits her time between Johannesburg and London.

Her role at Investec involves creating strategies to help employees develop professionally. 

Investec sponsors AfLI and, through that, the founders knew of Solomon's interest in and commitment to developing leadership in South Africa. It was a passion that grew out of her country's troubled past of racial division - when her home had served as a safe-house for many.

This modest pioneer in her field, who describes herself as an outsider, transformed the work environment at Investec after designing and running the first black management course.

Dr Jacob Adesida: The strategist

Dr Jacob Olugbenga Adesida, who is originally from Nigeria and currently resides in Cape Verde, is the associate director of AfLI.

Impressed by his work with African governments and reputable international organisations, Peter Wilson, the co-founder of AfLI, invited him to join the institute.

At the root of his teaching is the idea of creating an independent Africa and he encourages the fellows to be more strategic in their thinking and less reliant on the West. It is an approach that he believes will benefit Africa in the long-term.

Adesida has advised several renowned global organisations, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the African Development Bank, in strategy consulting.

He has also held advisory roles at state level in Seychelles, Tanzania, Kenya and elsewhere.

Source: Al Jazeera