In my 20 years in public work in South Sudan,
I’ve observed SPLM/A and other political actors with varied leadership strengths and weaknesses and have worked in civil society and community development with varied communities, including people of different ages and genders. I have learned that some integral issues must never be overlooked. One must ensure a clear balance between vision, program, strategies, and goals.
· To have a vision and program (a set of goals) is key.
· Solidarity among like-minded people and the ability to understand and respect the division of roles and honour are important.
· Organisational/institutional work entails conscious, constant grooming and tiered leadership development. Reliance on individuals should be avoided.
· Unity in diversity is important and must be inclusive. A sense of belonging creates a solid foundation for trust-building and moving forward together.
· Individual accountability, not generalisations of communities or even teams, is essential. This must be guaranteed through the rule of law, and no one may be above the law. All people must be treated equally and without favouritism.
· Meritocracy and competence are important but must be delicately balanced with fairness, especially in a young nation, such as ours, which has been subjected to systemic marginalisation.
· Policies, programs, and promotion of our diverse cultures are the key to trust-building, national belonging, and patriotism.
These values apply in most, if not all, African nations and across many nationalities experiencing weak governance and stagnation of equitable development and progress.