AFRICANUS B. PARKES LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN FOR A BETTER APC, NORTH AMERICA
Dear Friends, Colleagues and Fellow Party Members:
My name is Africanus B. Parkes. You may know me as Bami or Africanus, and I am certain we have met in various settings and social venues as members of the Sierra Leone Diaspora community in these United States.
Today, however, I am pleased to address you as fellow members of our party, the great All People’s Congress (APC). It gives me great pleasure to announce through this medium my candidacy for the important position of Chairman of the North America Chapter of the APC at the crucial elections scheduled for June 29, 2013. The premise of my campaign is simple: APC, North America deserves better, can be better, must be better, and will be better.
As you will agree, our Chapter faces enormous challenges and clearly needs to turn a new leaf if it is to be as effective and productive as it can and should be. I do not believe in denigrating those who have been the stewards of this Chapter up to this point, but it is no secret that only a creative, visionary and disciplined leadership – something we have sorely lacked in our recent past – can ensure we accomplish the tasks ahead of us.
There is no question that each of the candidates currently vying for the position of Chairman at this critical time is dedicated to the cause of our party and the goals of our Chapter; nor is there any doubt that each is confident in his talents and ability to lead. However, what makes my candidacy stand apart is my long experience as CEO and owner of a successful business. One need not possess an MBA from Harvard to recognize that one of the keys to any successful organization is its ability to anticipate and manage change. As a business owner I am daily faced with critical management decisions as well as strategic planning choices, all with a view to promoting the growth and success of my company. As a result, I have acquired the skills necessary to lead and effectively manage change.
From my unique business experience, I have gained the ability to develop the collective mindset, sense of team and collaboration that is so crucial to managing change. Moreover, as a CEO that recognizes the importance of every employee of my business, I am adept at motivating others and willing to empower others. These are all skills that are vitally important as we seek to turn around our Chapter and strengthen weaknesses in critical areas such as financial planning, fund-raising and public relations. They are also particularly important in light of the lack of cohesiveness in our Chapter and the general dissatisfaction with the direction in which it is heading.
Having served over the years in various capacities in the New York Chapter, including member of (i) Strategic and Planning Committee; (ii) Fundraising Committee; and (iii) Membership Drive Committee, I can assure you that I have a strong sense of what ails our organization at both the branch and regional levels and, as such, I have come up with a roadmap to achieve the thorough reorganization and transformation I believe will cure them, one that does not settle for cosmetic changes.
Those who know me well can vouch that I will work tirelessly, together with my fellow officers, and with the support of the rank-and-file members, to ensure North America is expertly managed, contributes constructively to the cause of our party, and serves as a beacon for all other Diaspora Chapters.
Last, my administration will do everything in its power to focus its attention on those issues that matter the most to members and in this regard will be guided by the notion that we are their servants and serve at their pleasure. I personally take this responsibility seriously and assure you that you can count on me to see to it to not make promises we cannot deliver and to deliver on what we promise.
I look forward to talking to each of you personally and telling you in more detail about my goals and aspirations for our great Chapter. I also look forward to the campaign ahead and welcome an organized and spirited debate among the Aspirants.
Thank you for allowing me to introduce myself as an Aspirant for the position of Chairman of the North America Chapter of the APC, to serve you, our party and ultimately, through our collective contributions to our homeland, the people of Sierra Leone.
Africanus B. Parkes