The world is changing rapidly fast and countries are responding to the demands of visionary leadership which creates a paradigm shift for economic prosperity. From Asia to Europe and America, nations whose affairs are superintended by men and women of visionary leadership are harvesting prosperity and advancement in human capital. The progress recorded by some African countries since the turn of the century – Rwanda, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Angola – can be traced to this. At the recently concluded 50th meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the world leaders called for creative approach to dealing with critical global challenges. These include climate change and poor economic development. They also urged nations to invest in their people by identifying new and better approaches towards containing critical developmental challenges. It is said that visionary leaders have the ability of seeing what no one else sees. They find potential and opportunity in unfavorable times to prove they see what is not there, or what is not there yet. Only visionary leaders – individuals who see the potential for how the world should exist and take steps to get there – can successfully lead people to tackle these challenges. This is the case in Anambra.
Gov. Willie Obiano is among Nigerian leaders that toe the line of visionary leadership in a practical approach that needs to be emphasized as well as emulated by his peers. In recent times, he has increased the tempo of economic and human development of Anambra in a manner that is difficult to separate from the outcome of visionary leadership. Examples: Gov. Obiano raised the stake in visionary leadership when he inaugurated the Anambra 50-Year Development Plan Committee late 2019. Chaired by former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Professor Charles Soludo, the Committee is empaneled to create the historic Anambra Vision 2070 Document – a Strategic Development Plan initiative meant to transform Anambra into a world-class economy and an advanced society. The Soludo-led team is charged with the task of crafting the vision and mission statements for Anambra Vision 2020. The project will identify specific sectors to focus on, fashion out development measurement frameworks, and determine critical milestones and success factors, among others fundamental. Gov. Obiano stressed that Anambra Vision 2070 Plan is for the security, prosperity and happiness of Ndi Anambra. He charged the team to submit a document that details the overall strategy for sustainable development of the state. The committee has an initial period of nine months to conclude and submit its report to the State government. Coming about 40 days to the “funeral” of Nigeria’s ‘dead’ Vision 20:2020, Gov. Obiano has put Anambra on the global map. It could be recalled that the Nigerian government launched the blueprint of the highly-celebrated Vision 20:2020 in 2009. The target was to build the Nigerian economy to join the league of the 20 topmost world economies by the magic year, 2020. Ironically, the long-term plan failed to yield the desired outcome: Nigeria hit January 1, 2020, as the 28th largest economy in the world in 2019, according to data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).