A critical evaluation of Thomas Isidore Noel Sankara’s servant leadership style of government in Burkina-Faso

  • Shaka Yesufu University of Limpopo
Keywords: colonialism, imperialist, neo-colonialist, women liberation, revolution, neo-marxism, self-reliance


Many authors have written and documented this illustrious and selfless son of the African continent, highlighting his unique kind of leadership different from the one that the African continent has ever experienced for a generation. His style of leadership for four years (1983–1987) as president of Burkina Faso eclipsed several African despots and corrupt leaders before and after Thomas Sankara. This article has three purposes as follows: first, to explore and celebrate the short-lived life of Thomas Sankara, and his legacies. Second, to critically evaluate his solid leadership characteristics and achievements relating it to the economy; Political, social, health, while serving as the President of Burkina Faso. Third, to highlight some of his shortcomings with the view that current and future leaders of African countries can learn from such shortcomings. This study is informed by the post-colonial theories of Ali Mazrui and Frantz Fanon. The author makes the following interesting findings. First, Sankara may have met his demise because of his country’s foreign policy (Non- Aligned), his relentless anti-imperialist campaign. The author acknowledges the solid achievements, made during Sankara’s brief term in office, are inspirational in the psyche of African men and women of his generation. If there is anything the author and many admirers and well-wishers of Sankara would like to see, is that his murderers are all brought to justice. More importantly, there are several lessons or styles of governance for African leaders both at home and in the diaspora to learn from this great man Thomas Sankara.


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How to Cite
Yesufu, S. (2022). A critical evaluation of Thomas Isidore Noel Sankara’s servant leadership style of government in Burkina-Faso. EUREKA: Social and Humanities, (2), 93-102. https://doi.org/10.21303/2504-5571.2022.002356
Social Sciences