FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dallas, TX, June 23, 2014 ‐ Fifteen local government officials from Lagos, Nigeria have just returned to their home country after completing management and leadership training in Dallas, Texas on June 11-13. Participants came from the Mushin and Ajeromi Ifelodun sectors of Lagos.
Dr. Mike Armour, president of Strategic Leadership Development International, Inc. (SLDI) conducted the training. The program centered on essential management skills which are essential for local government excellence.
The training is part of a broader initiative which Armour and SLDI began four years ago called Leadership Development Africa. The effort is a joint venture with Leadership Training Associates, Ltd. of Nairobi, Kenya, led by Joseph Nyaisa.
Armour and Nyaisa have previously conducted trainings for government and private sector leaders in Rwanda and Kenya. Now, with this program in Dallas, Leadership Development Africa is extending its reach into Nigeria.
The Dallas event also marks the first time that SLDI has brought participants to the U.S. for a program.
"It’s important," Armour explains, "for local government leaders in Africa to have a firsthand experience with the way local governments deliver services in the U.S. Seeing how city and county governments work in America provides them with fresh ideas for innovation in their own spheres of responsibility."
The curriculum for the program built around five core functions of management: oversight, coordination, planning, execution, and control. It also highlighted the differences between management and leadership.
The training began with a thorough exploration of the American system of government and how it is structured at national, state, county, and city levels. The participants found this portion of the program particularly engaging, and they plied Armour with dozens of follow-on questions over the remainder of the training.
The curriculum placed special emphasis on planning and execution. "Based on my experience," Armour notes, "I’ve found that second and third tier officials in Africa often fail to grasp the importance of careful planning in local government. Therefore, when I’m training county or city management teams from Africa, planning and execution are usually central themes of my remarks."
Given the participant’s enthusiastic evaluation of the event, Armour’s firm plans to bring other delegations to the U.S. for similar programs in the near future. In addition, he himself will travel to Kenya in early August to train county officials in the region around Kisumu.
The goal of Leadership Development Africa, he explains, is to bring best practices in management and leadership to the economic opportunities of Africa. Armour’s firm, which has been based in Dallas since 2001, opened its first office in East Africa in June 2011, followed in September of that year with the company’s first large-scale trainings in East Africa.
More recently Leadership Development Africa has begun to explore opportunities in western Africa through joint ventures with regional consultants in Nigeria. Eventually Armour and Nyaisa hope to extend their work to the entire continent.