Leadership, Social Identity and the Politics of Underdevelopment in Africa


Several researches have been conducted on the nature, character and causes of underdevelopment in Africa. Some scholars have alluded to the imperativeness of leadership in fostering development in Africa while some pointed a robust accusing finger to the structures of the international political system. While this paper does not join issues with these scholars, it however focuses on locating the dilemma of social identity as the missing factor in all inter personal relationships in Africa with special bias for the relationship between the led and the leaders. This paper briefly engages the arguments and counterarguments of the paradox of development in Africa and then goes on to show how the absence of social identity or group identity has been the bane of development in Africa. While dwelling on available secondary data, this paper theorizes the interplay among politics of underdevelopment, leadership and social identity in Africa. It concludes by arguing for the necessity of class suicide of the political class and also cognitive re-orientation of the led through education.

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Ade’ Agbude, G. , Excellence-Oluye, N. and Godwyns-Agbude, J. (2014) Leadership, Social Identity and the Politics of Underdevelopment in Africa. Open Journal of Leadership, 3, 106-115. doi: 10.4236/ojl.2014.34009.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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