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Daniel Kyei-Poakwa, Ph.D. is a 2021 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.

Daniel Kyei-Poakwa at his Dissertation Defense.

From L-R: Dr. Lize Booysen, Committee Chair, Dr. Laura Morgan Roberts Committee Member, Dr. Richard Lobban, Committee Member

Dissertation Committee

  • Lize Booysen, DBL, Committee Chair
  • Laura Morgan Roberts, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Richard Lobban, Ph.D., Committee Member


Ubuntu, Leadership, Focus Groups, Diaspora, Corruption

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There is a widely held and mainly fair view that Africa’s contemporary leadership is deeply flawed. Reform is needed and this dissertation takes the position that the challenges to and desirable characteristics of leadership are understood and can be influenced by Africans living in the Diaspora. To explore the challenges and possible solutions, four focus groups were convened drawing on Diasporic Africans living in Rhode Island in the United States. Each group meeting was facilitated by the researcher and discussed several questions about the most needed changes in leadership in Africa today. These concerned the most desirable characteristics in political leadership in Africa and how Diasporic African leaders can support leadership improvement in Africa. All group discussions began with consideration of the philosophy and relevance of Ubuntu a tradition-based perspective that has re-emerged through Africa in the last 30 years. Groups discussed how leadership renewal and improvement related to reviving practices based on Ubuntu. Transcripts from these sessions were analyzed for the number of mentions of particular ideas. Results were condensed into clusters of related ideas and themes for purposes of discussion. The top responses to the first question about challenges were about incompetence; corruption; and the exclusion of good leaders and officials because of sexism, tribalism, and nepotism. The leading responses to the second question on desirable leadership characteristics emphasized honesty, personal qualities of leaders, achieving visionary leadership, and enacting democratic values. In response to the third question of involving the Diaspora, a diverse range of ways in which help would be given were enumerated. This work concludes with a synthesis of the perspectives of Diasporic Africans on how to restore sound leadership in home countries. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive, and OhioLINK ETD Center,


Daniel Kyei-Poakwa

ORCID Scholar ID #: #0000-0001-5226-0283

Dr. Danny Kyei-Poakwa, originally from Ghana, West Africa, is a Diasporan African leader living in Rhode Island. Danny is an ordained Bishop and clergy leader with the Church of God International. He serves as the lead pastor at the House of Deliverance Church of God in Dorchester, Massachusetts. A district bishop for 10 churches across Southern New England (SNE), Bishop Danny has been the lead council of the SNE Regional Council of Bishops which consists of 120 churches for seven years. He is also the Regional Director of Education for the SNE Church of God as well as a member of the Church Health and Revitalization Task Force, Cleveland, Tennessee. Bishop Danny is an adjunct professor at Providence College. He is an author, publisher, leadership coach, conference speaker and an accomplished educator. He is also an Afro-optimist, and a Pan-African who has a passion for leadership excellence in the Church and Africa, an Ubuntu believer, and a dedicated community and people enhancer. He has published the following books: Flourishing in Uncertain Times: Principles for Excelling in a Difficult World”, and Open Heavens (volumes 1, 2 & 3). He is a loving husband, father, and grandfather.