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Joyce Banda addresses America students

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Former president, Joyce Banda, who went abroad after losing the 2014 presidential elections, delivered a lecture at the University of Redlands in California in United States of America (USA) on Saturday.

The lecture, which was titled “Redefining Leadership to Advance Social Justice through Individual Action,” was part of the University of Redlands’ Convocation and Lecture Series.

According to a statement released by the office of the former president and signed by Tusekele Mwanyongo, Banda was honoured to deliver the lecture where she took time to unpack that “redefined leadership” is a new leadership approach that is people-centred and not leader-centred.

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“It is about a leader who realises the fact that power is with the people and that, as a leader, it is incumbent upon you to put in place systems and structures that will ensure promotion and protection of citizens’ rights and interests. It is about a leader who fully appreciates the potential and capabilities of all and therefore creates a conducive environment for all to participate in all spheres of social, economic and political life regardless of race, tribe, region, religion and many more other grounds,” Banda said.

“As I have said many times before, leadership is a love affair. As a leader, you fall in love with the people and the people fall in love with you. It is an emotional phenomenon founded and built on mutuality, common good and shared vision between the leader and the people”.

Banda, who is also founder and leader of the People’s Party (PP), further said that the philosophy of servant leadership entails having a conviction and, above all, accepting the fact that what is in the best interest of all prevails over what is in the interest of a person, as a leader.

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Jacob Khuri, who was in charge of organising the university’s Convocation and Lecture Series, hailed Banda for her selflessness and acceptance to be part of that occasion.

“I think she has a global perspective and that’s needed on a college campus. She is a very powerful woman and a good role model for our students,” Khuri said.

Banda has spent two years outside the country.

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