Esther Ndagire: Digital Transformation Fellow, African Union
Leadership through influence, learning and relearning leadership lessons, and digital transformation within African governments
About our Guest
This episode’s conversation is with Esther Ndagire from Uganda. She is a technologist specializing in innovation, technology, and management. She has experience working with teams to transform the use of data for improved journalism and has implemented digital initiatives to address developmental issues across the African continent. Esther enjoys focusing on topics related to technology for development and youth empowerment.
Everyday Leadership in Action
Here are a few highlights from the conversation with Esther:
Leadership means influencing behavior: Esther has recently been reminded that leadership requires an ability to influence behavior and rally teams and stakeholders around a shared vision. While serving as a Digital Transformation Fellow at the African Union, she has faced natural resistance from individuals and partners in adopting digital tools and technologies for outdated processes that may not seem broken or inefficient to those that have been using them.
Important leadership lessons often need to be learned and relearned: During her time at Code for Africa, she learned how to navigate a multi-cultural work environment spanning multiple country locations. Now at the African Union, she has found herself needing to learn similar lessons again, appreciating the reality that people around her will have different work ethics, communication styles and leadership preferences.
African governments are embracing digital transformation: In her life experience, Esther has observed inefficient government services such as tax collection or drivers’ license applications cause frustration among citizens, resulting in loss of people’s time and missed opportunities for government revenues. Now at the African Union, she is seeing a surge in proactive demand from governments to invest heavily in digital transformation and witnessing a rapid improvement in local processes to the betterment of both governments and their citizens.
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