Leadership in Africa is tied to greed, power drunkenness, fund embezzlement, tyranny and more – you’d rarely find an African Leader with a great record and impact on his/her people.
However, Burkina Faso’s president, Thomas Sankara (1983-1987), like Nelson Mandela of South Africa, changed the narrative of leadership in Africa with his policy and implementation that the nation is currently benefiting from today.
According to World Publicist (@IsimaOdeh) on Twitter, Thomas Sankara increased Burkina Faso’s literacy rate from 13% in 1983 to 73% in 1987. He lived in a small house and only had $350, when he died.
He vaccinated 2.5 million children and banned Polygamy. He sold the Government’s fleet of Mercedes Benz and made Renault 5 Ministers’ car.
Sankara refused to have his portraits hung in public places. He renamed the country, Burkina Faso (Land of Honest Men) and composed the National Anthem. He reduced the salaries of Government officials including his own as the President. He built roads, railways without foreign aid.
Thomas Sankara empowered women politically and economically. He also appointed them into his Government. His Government planted 10 million trees through 200,000 planters to tackle desertification. He redistributed land to poor people.
Sankara also paused poll taxes for Burkinabes (people of Burkina Faso). He encouraged girls to stay in school, condemning the backward belief that girls shouldn’t be educated. He encouraged women to work.