The best leaders put others before themselves – Lord Boateng

Lord Paul Boateng, a distinguished member of the House of Lords in the United Kingdom, has emphasised the critical need for African nations to prioritise the election of servant leaders who will serve their purpose.

He said effective leadership is a catalyst for a nation’s development, thus the future of Africa hinges on the citizens’ ability to choose leaders who prioritise service over their own self-interest.

Lord Boateng explained that when the right leaders are elected into office, it will pave the way for Africa to attain a more equitable and prosperous future.

“The best sort of leaders put others before self,” Lord Boateng asserted. ”It should therefore be no surprise that it is just such a person who puts others before self that the others turn to and follow.”

Lord Boateng delivering a lecture to a packed audience at the Kofi Ohene-Konadu Auditorium.


Speaking at the UPSA Annual Leadership Lecture, Lord Boateng highlighted the profound impact that selfless, service-oriented leadership can have on a nation and its people.

The renowned diplomat and politician who spoke on the theme ‘Fulfilling the Promise – The Challenge of Leadership: Moving from Rhetoric to Delivery,’ stressed that there is no substitute in leadership for high performance, adding that “it is the common and indispensable basis of delivery.”

Lord Boateng elaborated on the qualities that define servant leaders, including high performance, innovation, enterprise, respect, and service.

According to Lord Boateng, these attributes are essential for addressing Africa’s unique challenges and unlocking its vast potential.

“Some sources of leadership may be welcomed; some [are] helpful, but others we know to be harmful, yet we live in a world desperately seeking leadership from any source,” he said.

Drawing on his extensive experience in public service, Lord Boateng urged African nations to foster a culture of leadership that prioritises the needs of the people.

He stressed that true leaders must be dedicated to serving their constituents rather than pursuing personal gain.

Lord Paul Boateng in a group photograph with members of the University Council and some invited guests including the First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo.


The 2024 UPSA annual leadership lecture brought together a wide audience from academia, industry, politics, traditional authority, civil society, students, and members of the general public.

Notable among the high-profile personalities were First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo; Dr Kofi Kodua Sarpong, the Chancellor of UPSA; Dr Kofi Ohene-Konadu, Chairman of the UPSA Governing Council; and Sir Sam Jonah, Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast.

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