Africa needs the X Factor to achieve sustainable growth and development.

By Takudzwa Kufa
The “X Factor” is a title of a  musical show on a british TV. The title refers to this undefinable “something” that makes up for “star quality” in musical performance of the aspiring super stars competing for chance to get to next round or be booted out. For one to win or become the next “super star” they must be eXtraordinary in their performance. The idea is to launch eXceptional music careers after the show.


A new development strategy framework based on X Factor.

I am proposing a new strategic framework to guide how Africa must approach development based on the attributes of this show.  For Africa to have this star quality, our approach to business and development has to change in a way that brings some of these X Factor attributes right to the centre of our development discourse.  This new thinking borrows the following attributes from the X Factor Show (1) having eXtraordinary ambition to be a star (2) Simple and transparent process (process eXcellence) of the show, (3) aiming for exceptional results and (4) evolving contestants be experts in successive episodes. The X Factor in the context of African development will mean eXtraordinary national and organisational goals, eXpert participants (citizens), process eXcellence and eXceptional economic indices and development indicators.

Placing the X Factor at the centre of business, economic and development planning means that:

1) We Africans must aim to be eXtraordinary in everything we do, right from setting our vision and  goals right to implementation.

2) We Africans and our development partners need to be eXperts everything we do.

3) Africa needs process eXcellence to do more for less and achieve better and faster development outcomes.

4) We need to have smart development objectives and must aim for eXceptional results and measurable targets.

5) Once the X Factor becomes engrained in our thinking and attitude towards development, Africa can then focus on the following big siX thematic issues which I think are important for development and listed below.

Big Six Africa


The Big Six

  • eXceptional peace, security & social cohesion.
  • eXpertise in governance, organisational and culture change,  institutional reforms which including naturing of eXceptional moral character of the people and absence of corruption.
  • eXcellent processes for effective & efficient delivery of services and production of high quality goods.
  • eXcellent infrastructure built by local eXperts.
  • eXperts for development with educated, skilled & empowered citizens driving and managing the development agenda.
  • eXtraordinary performance in all sectors the economy  mining, agriculture tourism, trade and commerce  including eXploding exports of value added products to the rest of the world.

One thought on “Africa needs the X Factor to achieve sustainable growth and development.

  1. Dear Takudzwa, I like this thoughtful, eXceptional post. I agree with all that you have written. I would only add maybe as part of the Big Six, or a seventh, eXceptional moral character of the people and absence of corruption. Successful development requires people who hunger and thirst for righteousness, who are peacemakers, who are humble, who are merciful, who mourn for the brokenness in their society (and in their own hearts), who are pure in heart and spirit. As you can see, this is along the lines of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Such are the people, especially the leaders, that Africa – and in fact the entire world – needs.

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