Growing Great Leaders for Conservation and Development across Africa

The Leadership Imperative

“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”

– Jack Welch

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Who needs conservation leadership?

When one thinks about who might need access to this form of leadership and growth enhancement – the answer could be – “How long is a piece of string?”
Across Southern and Eastern Africa alone it is estimated that there are about 10,000 people in leadership positions, in organisations that influence or impact conservation and development. Giving them the opportunity to get access to just one leadership training course in their career, will be a huge task in itself.

Providing them with further training opportunities to grow their leadership capacities makes the challenge even greater. The only way to meet this challenge is to scale-up the training process through using innovative and fast-emerging technologies based on the internet, digital and mobile platforms and other new platforms that are emerging in the wings.

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Transforming conservation through leadership

The field of conservation in national economies and sectors has historically always been been the “poor cousin” – often the least important in government portfolios in terms of priority and budget allocation. It is because of this that most national parks and protected area systems with associated conservation functions are understaffed and under-resourced and consequently the management of these protected areas is compromised.

Improved leadership will enable key people to fight for and make the case to correct the situation. Conservation within rural communities has become a key process in contributing to better management of ecosystems, natural resources and wildlife. Wildlife based tourism has recently been recognised as Africa’s key competitive advantage in terms of tourism.