The beginning of something big in African conservation

 Participants at the November African Leadership Network at Lake Burunge, Tanzania (Photo Credit: Rachel Ambrose)

Participants at the November African Leadership Network at Lake Burunge, Tanzania (Photo Credit: Rachel Ambrose)

This is a guest post by Maxi Louis, Director of NACSO and Karine Nuulimba, Programme Director of IRDNC - Both organizations are spearheading community based natural resource management in Namibia.

After completing the second session of the African Leadership Network, we feel like we’re seeing the beginning of something very big happening in African conservation – a network that brings us together.

The first African Leadership Network workshop, which was held in Kenya in August, centered on our personal development – how our temperaments shape our leadership style – and on identifying our strengths. We got to know the participants and we established peer learning cohorts through which we continued to coach each other after the workshop ended. In November we met again, but this time in Tanzania. At the second workshop, we explored how we function as leaders, and learned tools to address the similar challenges both we as individual leaders and as leaders of organizations face.

Since the end of the workshop we have had some time to reflect. We both feel that this is the first time in our professional lives where we have experienced such a huge level of growth and self-awareness, and where we’ve been able to step out of the day-to-day pressures of leading organizations to truly stop and think about how we lead, and how we can be more deliberate in improving the way that we lead. This matters for us, for our organizations, and for conservation.

We are very thankful to The Nature Conservancy and Maliasili for their willingness to invest in equipping and trusting us to shape the African Leadership Network into something that meets the needs of our conservation organizations. We cannot even begin to describe how much we value the friendships that have developed, how we have been inspired by East Africa’s conservation leaders, and how we now finally feel that we understand some of the conservation issues of East Africa. We have returned to Namibia full of ideas and renewed energy to improve community conservation in Namibia, and are absolutely committed to keeping this network alive.

Something big is happening, and we’re excited to help it grow.

LeadershipNikita Lodhia