South Africa needs leadership that is ethical, committed and effective. The death of Nelson Mandela has reminded us of our need for leadership that will not just steer us ahead, but do so in a way that maintains the hope of a fully democratic, nonviolence and just society. ICON’s response has been to join with Durban University of Technology (DUT) and ACCORD (the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes) to launch the Innovative Leadership Programme.
The initial workshop on 22nd February brought together 30 DUT students from a very diverse range of discipline areas. Part of the potential of the Programme is to unlock the resources that students bring to the course.
A compelling session was when four students spoke about projects in which they have taken leadership. Here Walter Nsengiyumva speaks of walking 3 300 kms from Rwanda to Congo Brazzaville as an 11 year old, and of how he then developed a training facility in the refugee camp.
ICON’s interest in this project is partly to develop new ways of working with young people who came into tertiary education with a wealth of experience that is often not tapped as a resource. It is partly also to develop the thinking of young people around the meaning of nonviolence in the new context of Africa today. Part of the wealth of the course is brought by the presence of DUT students from elsewhere in Africa.
ICON was represented by the director, Crispin Hemson, and by its deputy chairperson, Paddy Kearney, who spoke on the life of Denis Hurley, the archbishop who was central to the opposition to apartheid.