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Africa needs

The X Factor
to achieve sustainable
growth and development.
Takudzwa Kufa
Bringing the X Factor into Africa’s development
discourse.
 Africa is lagging behind other continents in terms of trade a...
The X Factor
The "X Factor“ is a title of a TV musical show. The title refers to this undefinable
"something" that makes f...
1. We must have eXtraordinary dreams.
 Being eXtraordinary means achieving eXceptional results. We need

to question and ...
1a. We must make innovative incremental step changes
towards the eXtraordinary like the WV Corporation
2. We Africans and our development partners need to
be eXperts in everything we do.
 Citizens must be evolved to be eXper...
3.We need process eXcellence to do more for less and

achieve better development outcomes.
 Business processes in Africa ...
4. We must aim to achieve eXceptional results.
 African citizen must made aware what eXcellent services and must start
to...
5. Once the X factor becomes engrained in our thinking and
attitude towards development we can then focus on the
following...
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Africa needs an X factor

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This new strategic thinking on how Africa must approach its development planning brings the X Factor right at the centre of our development thinking.

The "X Factor” is a title of a musical show on british TV. The title refers to this undefinable "something" that makes up for “star quality” in musical performance of aspiring super stars competing for chance to get to next round or be booted out. For one to win or become the next "super star" they must be eXtraordinary in their performance. The idea is to launch eXceptional music careers after the show.

I am proposing a new development strategy framework to guide how Africa must approach development based on the attributes of this show. For Africa to have this "super star" quality, our approach to business and development has to change in a way that brings some of these X Factor "super star" attributes right to the centre of our development discourse. This new thinking borrows the following attributes from the X Factor Show (1) having eXtraordinary ambition to be a star (2) Simple and transparent process (process eXcellence) of the show, (3) aiming for exceptional results and (4) evolving contestants be experts in successive episodes. The X Factor in the context of African development will mean eXtraordinary national and organisational goals, eXpert participants (citizens), process eXcellence and eXceptional economic indices and development indicators.

Placing the X Factor at the centre of business, economic and development planning means that:

1) We Africans must aim to be eXtraordinary in everything we do, right from crafting our vision and goals to implementation.

2) We Africans and our development partners need to be eXperts in development.

3) Africa needs process eXcellence to do more for less and achieve better and faster development outcomes.

4) We need to have smart development objectives and we must aim for eXceptional results and measurable targets all the time.

5) Once the X Factor becomes engrained in our thinking and attitude towards development, We can then focus on the following big siX thematic issues that I think are important for development and listed below.

The Big Six

•eXceptional peace, security & social cohesion.
•eXpertise in governance, organisational and culture change, institutional reforms which include naturing of eXceptional moral character of the people, absence of corruption and placing an agenda for dignity at the centre of development.
•eXcellent processes for effective & efficient delivery of services and production of high quality goods.
•eXcellent infrastructure built by local eXperts.
•eXperts for development with educated, skilled & empowered citizens driving and managing the development agenda.
•eXtraordinary performance in all sectors the economy mining, agriculture tourism, trade and commerce including eXploding exports of value added products to the rest of the world.

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Africa needs an X factor

  1. 1. Africa needs The X Factor to achieve sustainable growth and development. Takudzwa Kufa
  2. 2. Bringing the X Factor into Africa’s development discourse.  Africa is lagging behind other continents in terms of trade and economic development partly due to lack of competitiveness and production of low quality, inferior products and services.  Businesses and economies are not competitive enough to bring about sustainable and transformative economic growth.  Poor leadership ,bad planning and lack of institutions are often faulted but not much attention is been given to systems, culture and processes.  Systems, culture and processes needs to change and things must be done differently in order to speed up the pace of growth and development and achieve MDG targets.  A new strategic thinking based on common sense to make Africa competitive is urgently required. A thinking that goes back to the basics, placing the importance of competition, process excellence, systems culture and quality and maintaining standards in our everyday economic lives.  Culture change and process improvement is required to improve the continent global competitiveness and to take the African economy into the 21st century.
  3. 3. The X Factor The "X Factor“ is a title of a TV musical show. The title refers to this undefinable "something" that makes for “star quality” in the musical performance of the aspiring super stars competing for chance to get to next round. For one to win they should be eXtraordinary, eXcellent in what they do. The idea is to launch eXceptional music careers post the show. For Africa to have this star quality, something has to be done differently. I am proposing a new strategic on how Africa must approach development. This approach brings the X Factor attributes right at the centre of our development discourse. The X Factor in the context of African development will mean, eXtraordinary goals, eXpert participants (citizens), process eXcellence and eXceptional results. 1) We Africans must aim to be eXtraordinary in everything we do. 2) We Africans and our development partners need to be eXperts everything we do. 3) Africa will need process eXcellence to do more for less and achieve better and faster development outcomes. 4) We need to have smart development objective and aim for eXceptional results and measurable targets. 5) Once the X Factor becomes engrained in our thinking and attitude towards development we can then focus on the following big siX strategic issues which I think are important for our development.
  4. 4. 1. We must have eXtraordinary dreams.  Being eXtraordinary means achieving eXceptional results. We need to question and challenge ourselves on how do we go about to achieve eXceptional results in our long term development efforts?  It starts with the way we frame our dreams. First we must have eXtraordinary dreams, big and clear and ambitious. This means we must have long term goals and clear roadmaps on how to get there. Leadership must draw up action plans to make small step incremental changes towards our eXtraordinary African dreams.  In order to build a sustainable Africa, we must not stop dreaming. Policy makers, business leaders, entrepreneurs, governments must continuously be planning ahead, framing new bigger dreams and strategies to bring them to life.  Each day must be a day where we take small incremental step changes to towards our extraordinary dreams. Current programs and projects should always be viewed as steps in an ongoing evolution of our African dreams.
  5. 5. 1a. We must make innovative incremental step changes towards the eXtraordinary like the WV Corporation
  6. 6. 2. We Africans and our development partners need to be eXperts in everything we do.  Citizens must be evolved to be eXperts in everything we do, be it in business, media, in science, arts, sport or academia.  This challenge requires our leadership to lead citizen to be eXperts on development.  Our education systems, universities and training institutions must be evolved to become eXpert academies that challenge the status quo and producing eXperts with right skills to innovate and drive forward the African development agenda.
  7. 7. 3.We need process eXcellence to do more for less and achieve better development outcomes.  Business processes in Africa can be frustratingly slow, poor quality products and services are expected and accepted with phrases like “THIS IS AFRICA (TIA)” helping citizens to adjust to low expectations.  Process eXcellence in vital for Africa in order to speed up processes, produce high quality products, improve service delivery, change in business culture and building of efficient systems that improve quality for life of its citizens.  Processes in government and private sector organizations must be designed to be appropriate, efficient, effective, empowering, and continuously improving in order to reduce waste, deliver value and services to citizens. I call them AEEEC processes  African governments should establish institutions that promote business process eXcellence in the private sector in the same way USA does through the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. The Baldrige Program oversees the America Presidential award for performance excellence offering criteria, assessments, tools, training and a community for those dedicated to helping organizations improve.  Processes eXcellence should underpin all development aid projects and program implemented in Africa. International development aid partners should embrace process eXcellence in delivery of aid so that it can deliver better outcomes for less in the way International non governmental organization (INGOs) like World Vision are now actively working to improve their process eXcellence  In summary organizational processes must be made simple and transparent to deliver better development outcomes at faster speeds.
  8. 8. 4. We must aim to achieve eXceptional results.  African citizen must made aware what eXcellent services and must start to demand quality services.  Organisations and citizens must be driven to achieve eXceptional results.  Performance should monitored in a transparent manner in the full glare of the public and fair competition is encouraged.  The X on our ballot paper should represent the citizen aspiration for eXcellence.  When results are not eXceptional citizen must be able to vote out mediocrity and under performance.  We need to embrace the use data and modern technology to drive decision and improvement.
  9. 9. 5. Once the X factor becomes engrained in our thinking and attitude towards development we can then focus on the following big siX strategic areas eXceptional peace, security & Social cohesion eXpertise in governance including institutional reforms and culture change Process eXtraordinary performance in all sectors the economy mining, agriculture tourism, trade and commerce Educated, skilled & empowered citizens who are eXperts for their own development eXcellence for effectiveness & efficient delivery of services and production of high quality goods Our eXcellent infrastructure built by eXperts

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