Effective leadership and sustainable development in Africa: is there “really” a link?

Kwasi Dartey-Baah (Department of Organisation and Human Resource Management, University of Ghana Business School, Accra, Ghana)

Journal of Global Responsibility

ISSN: 2041-2568

Publication date: 2 September 2014



The paper aims to review the concept of leadership as practiced in the West and in Africa, and goes on to establish the link between these two approaches and sustainable development in Africa. It does this with the view of assessing their implications for the attainment of sustainable development on the continent through a developed leadership–impact–effect conceptual model.


In seeking to achieve its purpose, the paper uses a literature review approach to assess the leadership orientation in the West (particularly in relation to effective leadership) as against the studied leadership situation prevalent in the African continent to find out their impact on development (sustainable).


Findings from the paper reveal a great disparity between the leadership situation in the African continent and the attainment of sustainable development. It also affirms a link between effective leadership approaches, like the transformational leadership approach, and the attainment of sustainable development.

Practical implications

Based on the findings, it is recommended that African leaders resort to effective leadership styles, with a great emphasis on the transformational style, which integrate creativity, vision and participation, as it attempts to create sustainable development for the citizenry in the continent.


The paper demonstrated the relevance of effective leadership in ensuring sustainable development in Africa and as a tool for achieving economic growth and development.



Dartey-Baah, K. (2014), "Effective leadership and sustainable development in Africa: is there “really” a link?", Journal of Global Responsibility, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 203-218. https://doi.org/10.1108/JGR-03-2014-0014

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