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EDITORIAL: 14 Weeks Of Training Will Equip Future Traditional Leaders

EDITORIAL: 14 Weeks Of Training Will Equip Future Traditional Leaders
September 05
10:53 2018

The iTaukei Affairs Board (TAB) is organising leadership training under its Traditional Leadership Curriculum Training programme at Nadave in Tailevu.

There is a total of 40 participants and this include traditional leader’s representing the 21 districts of Ba. This programme was piloted last year for the province of Tailevu and Rewa.

The 14-week programme will be able to assist traditional leaders on how they can effectively perform their role to have a stable vanua.

Gone are the days when iTaukei leaders were uneducated.

Now the TAB is providing training, especially when it will be involved in the day to day decision-making that will affect the people they will lead.

This training will help young leaders know of their roles and the qualities they should have.

Some of the characteristics they should have are –

  • Honesty;
  • Ability to delegate;
  • Communication;
  • Sense of humour;
  • Confidence;
  • Commitment;
  • Positive attitude; and
  • Creativity.

Many village headmen and headwomen in the country experience difficulties in managing affairs of their communities in the face of changing societal circumstances.

Here, traditional leadership is hereditary. Because of this, traditional iTaukei leadership remains a force, not only among the iTaukei, but also in the wider political life of the country. However, the ground is beginning to shift.

The 2002 review of the iTaukei Administration Report has rightly pointed out that leadership qualities are important in this regard, and these include:

(i) Communication. The tradition of respect toward chiefs has hindered open discussion of important matters of public concern. In the absence of discussion, chiefs can become dictatorial; messages go ‘up’ the system but less often are responses returned ‘down’ to where the message came from. Messages also can get distorted or be ignored;

(ii)    Competence. Chiefly authority is being questioned by educated and younger iTaukei who no longer accept the idea that leaders are born and not made. ‘Non-traditional leadership’ is based on demonstrated competence rather than rank;

(iii)  Unity. The iTaukei are increasingly divided by political events and strong leadership is required, particularly by chiefs, to re-establish a sense of unity; and

(iv) Selflessness. Whereas leaders should act in the service of their communities, there is a sense that leaders are more concerned with personal gain.

The participants of this programme will be future traditional iTaukei leaders.

They know of the problems they’re currently facing and the 14-week programme has come at the right time, especially when it will prepare them well when their time of leadership arrives.

It is therefore critical that this programme will equip future traditional leaders to find effective ways to strengthen community governance structures and leadership capacities to foster greater inclusiveness and adapt to change.

Feedback:  maikab@fijisun.com.fj

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