Nursing leadership - a looming crisis for Africa

  • Sithembile Shongwe Gwebe


All countries in the world are affected by diverse, multifactorial health challenges. In Africa, these challenges are characterised by a high burden of disease, poor governance, economic issues, poor distribution of resources, and political instability that make it extremely difficult to deliver high-quality health care to the population.1 Such challenges are a reflection of one of the major shortcomings that exist within the healthcare system, which is nursing leadership. Ezeh and the World Health Organization revealed that most researchers viewed the African health system as fragile and weak.1,2 This is evident from the African health leaders’ lack of autonomy and spontaneous response in resolving healthcare crises on the continent. Furthermore, it is argued that Africa has developed a dependency syndrome on the European Union healthcare leaders who are not afraid to take on health challenges in any setting.1 It is also claimed that these European health gurus implement care, which is not congruent with African values and ethics, and that the situation has robbed African healthcare leaders of their power to choose and exercise their authority.1 Conversely, the remodelling of the healthcare system calls for immediate interventions instigated by effective and aware leaders.3 While the African healthcare leaders struggle to regain their authority, their inadequate focus on promoting nursing leadership has limited their success in resolving dynamic healthcare issues. This paper, therefore, ascertains that nursing leadership is a looming crisis for Africa.

Author Biography

Sithembile Shongwe Gwebe
RN, SCM, MED-SURG, N-ADMIN MSc Student University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg
Nursing Matters