African Rebirth is a Pan- African non-partisan organization that seeks to empower young African leaders. We discussed with Enoch Tumwine, President and founder, about the organization and its goals.
Enoch Tumwine is a founder and the president of African Rebirth: a political scientist interested in diplomacy and strategic security.
Tell us about the name of the organisation. Why ‘African Rebirth’?
We named our organization African Rebirth, because rebirth signifies two things – first, we call it African Rebirth because for something to be reborn; two things must have happened. One something must have died; a natural or artificial death.
Second, something needs a rebirth when it hasn’t been growing (stunted growth). When you look at Africa’s past and present. There is no doubt that we need a rebirth.
There is no doubt that we need a rebirth in our political systems, governance, economic prosperity, and a clear ideological orientation that guides our place in the world.
Therefore, African Rebirth’s mission is to defy mediocrity and inspire and empower young African leaders with a mindset of peace, unity, and prosperity.
Can you tell me more about your organization’s vision and the services you provide?
Our vision “is a united and a prosperous Africa”, our services include:
Our main programs include;
- The mentorship leadership program (six weeks of intensive training)
- African Rebirth Model United Nations( diplomatic training)
- Alumni development programs.
- Research and publications.
What are the languages used for communication in your organization?
Due to the diversity in colonial Languages. We have both Anglophone and Francophone chapters. One of our key programs is the mentorship leadership initiative; young people across the 55 States of Africa are recruited, oriented, and trained by top African and global government leaders in politics, business, and civil society. The aim of this is to enhance the following:
- Close the inter-generational gap that exists between top leaders and young people. At Africa Rebirth we are a bridge where senior top leaders in governments, business, and civil society organizations across Africa meet, interact, connect, and have meaningful African cantered discourses. This is great for young leaders to connect with senior leadership but also a big opportunity for top leaders to have the knowledge and the real meaningful challenges and solutions that would propel our continent to another level of greatness.
- Cultural diplomacy; Many times Africans have been convinced that are so different and diverse; it is true diversity is real because even twins have different fingerprint details. Throughout my experience engaging with young leaders across Africa no doubt that we are more connected culturally, historically, and ideologically.
Therefore, our differences could be of an advantage. We, therefore, link young people from all corners of Africa to meet, interact and connect. Learn opportunities about business, employment, and education in various African countries. We operate across Africa and our headquarters are in Bujumbura, Burundi.
What inspired it and did you receive any training to mentor young people in leadership?
The power of the question why?
I have always asked myself why people succeed and others don’t, why nations fail and others succeed. Whether it’s an individual, organization, society, or nation. The power to succeed or fail solely depends on the level of strategic thinking. How we think as a society determines the level of our success.
In resonance with Africa, our mindset and ideological capacity have hindered our progress as a continent. I am aware that development takes time and no doubt some countries have made tremendous progress. But an “A” student scoring a B or C for the first time might not be a failure but if it continues something is wrong.
Africa is like that A student scoring a B or C because we have all it takes to be the most modern and prosperous continent that ever existed in history. Talk of human capacity; we got the best intellects, talk of market and labor; we have the youngest population full of energy and innovations, talk about the land;60% of Arable African land is uncultivated. Crazy enough people still die of hunger and are being fed by the world food program.
Poverty and wealth are human factors. The difference is; one is a success of leadership (wealth) and the other one is a failed leadership. (poverty)
Therefore, African Rebirth started with this endless search and cultivation of a renewed mindset. A mind that is tired of mediocrity, a mindset that is deeply rooted in the ideology of excellence, prosperity, and accountability.
I do not doubt that we shall and will have this achieved. The young people across Africa are ready.
True leadership is discovered not taught. African Rebirth is a laboratory where leadership is discovered, talents are natured, and dreams are made a reality for Mother Africa. Vision and a sense of purpose. To me, It is the most important leadership principle any leader must have. The ability to set out a vision and clearly articulate it to others. The ability to serve and empower others remains the noblest of all human qualities. A reason I strive to enlighten, empower and inspire others to noble limitless possibilities of human endeavor.
Who is your target audience?
Over 60% of Africa’s population is under the age of 25 and by 2030 Africa’s youth will constitute 42% of the global youth populace.
Our target and the DNA of African Rebirth are the young people. It is an opportunity but also a tick-timing bomb. Therefore, anyone who thinks about the future should think of transforming young people for the better.
Imagine such a number without jobs, education, and hope but full of despair. It is a disaster and part of the insecurities Africa is facing; is that the majority of our young population are jobless chronically and ideologically. This is dangerous to the future of Africa.
Some are ideologically disoriented and unemployed. They think that joining useless rebel groups is the answer to their problems, drowning in the Mediterranean Sea crossing to Europe is the answer. “There is no future under the sea but only for the sharks”
However, on the flip side imagine if this huge populace is educated, informed, and ideologically oriented to a higher purpose in life, dignity, and self-confidence for a bright future. It will spark unimaginable innovation, and creativity that history books will be submerged with prosperity in Africa that has never existed in the history of mankind.
So, we aim to build, orient, empower, and cement the true geniuses of young people: think big, think generational, and defy mediocrity in every sense. Africa has never been short of leaders but got short of leaders who defy mediocrity and have a higher commitment to excellence and accountability.
However, even though our target audience is young people, true excellence is achieved through synergy. We, therefore, call on governments, private sectors, and civil society organizations to truly engage in the transformation of young people not in excellent rhetoric but in a real commitment to a new generation of young leaders full of hope, dignity, and prosperity.
Did your upbringing inspire your approach toward bringing about change?
Absolutely yes, my family’s orientation clearly states four things leadership, excellence, empathy, and knowledge. Second, I have grown up around East Africa (I consider East Africa my hometown and Africa my country. Burundi, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, etc are linked in culture, political organization, geography, and history.
I have always had a continental strategy. Therefore, I strongly believe I am a natural force of good for others to provide Knowledge, since my primary education, I have loved history and specifically that relates to nation-building in Africa. Studying great empires like the Mali empire under Mansa Musa, (West Africa). Songhai Dynasty under Muḥammad ibn Abī Bakr Ture, (West Africa)Zulu Dynasty under Shaka. (Southern Africa). The Chwezi Dynasty under Ndahura. ( East Africa) Comparatively with the current situation. Africa lost its glory.
Therefore, the key to successful nation-building lies in three factors
- Clear ideological orientation; a set of beliefs that guide a society or a nation. Values that stem from culture and education. This is key to nation-building because it eliminates identity crises. Africa has been a victim of pseudo-ideologies that don’t resonate with its culture and orientation.
- Strategic security; no nation in the history of mankind prospered in chaos and wars. If it must wage war; it must not be itself. Many of our countries fight and destroy themselves.
- Economic prosperity; the idea of acceleration, innovation, and creativity. Massive production and consumption lead to high job creation hence improved health and standards of living.
Therefore, my inspiration for change is to revive the lost glory of Africa. To claim its divinity and dignity and take center stage in the global market of ideas by leading the way not a follower.
What progress has the platform made so far and where do you anticipate it to reach shortly?
“African Union covens present Heads of States while African Rebirth covens future Heads of States and other institutions”
Since our birth as an organization in 2021, we have mentored directly and indirectly over 2000 young leaders across Africa. With a high level of training in diplomacy, leadership, entrepreneurship, and peace-building. We have hosted Ambassadors and career diplomats, ministers, Members of Parliament, CEOs, and Executives of civil society organizations to facilitate these workshops and networking webinars.
Second, we established an incubation platform where all young innovators and entrepreneurs from all corners of Africa interact and exchange ideas for innovation. We have successfully created an ecosystem where top government leaders, business and civil society, and young leaders can network and be mentored hence encouraging a bottom-up approach and creating a more formidable force of good to challenges that face Africa.
Knowledge and mindset shift. Over 70% of the young people admitted to our programs confessed that they had little or no knowledge of other African countries in terms of culture, history, economy, geography, and political organization. For example, many believed that some countries like Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Cape Verde, Morocco, etc didn’t belong on the African continent. Second, some also believed that our North African sisters and brothers aren’t African enough just because of their skin color.
This is unfortunate but at the same time, African Rebirth answered the call for enlightenment.
Partnerships with world-renowned institutions like United Nations- Burundi to strengthen peacebuilding initiatives and strengthen strong advocacy for Sustainable Development Goals amongst the young leaders in the East African region.
There is no doubt that African Rebirh is the current and future force of good and the foundation for a renewed Africa that is based on excellence, accountability, and prosperity. We are open and call upon more partnerships with governments and other institutions to accelerate the astronomical urgent need for a prosperous Africa.
How can one join African rebirth?
We have a very transparent system of recruitment. Usually, we announce our applications on websites and social media platforms (African rebirth) for the virtual leadership cohorts
Recruitment has three phases.
- Workshops/ training.
After six weeks of intensive training in leadership, diplomacy, Peace-building, and entrepreneurship. You join a big platform of Alumni.