The political independence in Africa was welcomed with joy and a heap of expectations, as Africans believed that the new African governments would bring sustainable development after years of subjugation, exploitation, and oppression. Unfortunately, this has not been the case. Today, many years after the attainment of political independence, many African nations largely remain underdeveloped, burdened with poverty, diseases, poor communication networks, illiteracy, tribal animosity, economic challenges, and injustices, ― all of which affect every aspect of African life. This study, which involved 160 respondents purposely selected from the 47 counties in Kenya, aimed to investigate why Africa continues to lag behind in development despite autonomous rule. The study found that although Africa is endowed with numerous resources, it suffers from the lack of responsible leaders, particularly political leaders. Leaders in Africa are available in abundance but very few are concerned with the welfare of the people they lead. The majority of the leaders are keen to retain power and acquire wealth at the expense of the constituents they represent. This has created a very horrendous situation in Africa as people struggle to access poorly-managed resources. No sustainable development can be attained in a situation where leaders are not responsible to those who they lead. For it is only the installation of competent, empathetic, equitable, and forward-thinking leaders that will successfully guide the sustainable development of emerging African economies. African leaders must realize that they are stewards of the geopolitical environments they were elected to serve and must be fully accountable for their actions. Responsible leadership and sustainable development are closely interwoven. Recommendations are interjected regarding how to develop our leaders for responsible leadership if any meaningful development is to be genuinely achieved in Africa.

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