Over the last few months, there has been a significant change in the political landscape across Africa. Military takeovers, forced resignations, leaders stepping aside, and elections have brought a cautious optimism toward positive change.

The most recent change took place here in South Africa last week. To the shock of many, an unprecedented and historic transition took place. Within nineteen hours, the President of this country resigned, and Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in as the new President of the Republic of South Africa. Twenty-four hours later, President Ramaphosa delivered his maiden State of the Nation Address (SONA).

The following excerpts from his speech are worthy of review by those of us who choose to guard our hearts through integrity.

“In just over 150 days from now, the people of the world will unite in celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela…Guided by his example, we will use this year to reinforce our commitment to ethical behavior and ethical leadership…We should put all the negativity that has dogged our country behind us because a new dawn is upon us…We are determined to build a society defined by decency and integrity that does not tolerate the plunder of public resources…We will change the way that boards are appointed so that only people with expertise, experience, and integrity serve in these vital positions…This is the year in which we will turn the tide of corruption in our public institutions…We call on all public servants to become agents for change.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa will be held accountable for his words as are we. That being the case, imagine with me what can happen in any nation who declares its allegiance to integrity because it abstains from the allurement of corruption. Think of the healing that is available to a country whose leaders and citizens put the needs of others ahead of their agendas and self-gratification. I am reminded of the words found in Proverbs 29:4, “By justice, a king gives a country stability, but one who is greedy for bribes tears it down.” During his SONA speech, President Ramaphosa said these impactful words: “Every time someone receives a bribe, there is someone prepared to pay it.”

I remind you that Commissioning a Lifestyle of Integrity (CLI) moves beyond anti-corruption programs; it is a pro-integrity lifestyle. We have a chance to join with others in every sphere of society to serve with expertise, experience, and integrity. The opportunity to become agents of change awaits those who are prepared to turn the tide of corruption.

It may very well be the dawn of a new day in Africa. A changing of the guard accompanied by a new mindset can be the beginning of a movement of integrity that has the potential to sweep across this vast Continent!

May we unite to bring restoration of integrity and revitalization of hope for a preferred future.

Until next time…