Leadership and trust took center stage at a three-day retreat organized by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) in Kigali, Rwanda. The event, themed “Re-imagining leadership in a fast-changing world,” brought together 19 Nigerian governors and was facilitated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The governors identified the pressing need for effective leadership in Africa, particularly in Nigeria, and acknowledged the complex challenges the nation faces.
Trust Deficit and Dialogue
Nigerian governors emphasized the crucial role effective leadership plays in addressing Nigeria’s multifaceted challenges. Recognizing the country’s significant trust deficit, they underscored the importance of open dialogue to find lasting solutions. The retreat aimed to foster candid discussions, with Rwanda’s post-war development as a source of inspiration.
Lessons from Rwanda
During the retreat, Kaduna State Governor Uba Sani noted the value of learning from Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s insights on managing diversity in an increasingly complex world. Similarly, Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde highlighted the retreat’s contribution to their adaptive leadership and development strategies. The Nigerian governors recognized Rwanda’s transformational journey as a model for addressing developmental challenges.
The communiqué issued after the retreat outlined the governors’ focus on adaptive leadership and development strategies. Discussions encompassed Rwanda’s success as an investment destination, digital technology transformation, urban planning, and socio-economic growth. The retreat concluded with a private dialogue session with President Kagame, who emphasized the urgency of adaptable leadership in today’s world.
The retreat provided a platform for Nigerian governors to engage in meaningful exchanges, draw from Rwanda’s experiences, and explore innovative strategies for tackling Nigeria’s complex developmental issues. As the governors return to their respective states, the knowledge and insights gained from the retreat may play a pivotal role in shaping policies and leadership approaches that address Nigeria’s challenges and bridge the trust deficit.