Project Description

Leading the way

There has been much written about the need for strong, transformational leadership in African countries like Zambia. Leaders that follow the models of participatory, democratic governing are few and far between. As Africa stands poised on a decade of unprecedented population growth, while being mired in poverty, challenges with corruption in governments and wars driven by greed and fed by global interests and tribal strife, the need for educating strong and creative African leaders has never been more important.

In 2010, a needs assessment was jointly conducted by OkaZHI members and Zambian partners. In that assessment, leadership training and education were identified as top priorities. Zambian colleagues recognized that their leaders must be ‘service-oriented’ and model ‘good leadership.’ Another important skill identified, was the ability to solve complex problems by working collaboratively with others. Importantly, the leadership style that many Zambian’s were looking for did not align with what they were taught in their training programs.

OkaZHI members and Zambian colleagues have agreed to begin developing a leadership program for various cadres of health care professionals, including direct service providers, health administrators, under-graduate and post-graduate students and institutional faculty members.

Previous Work

  • Needs assessment with health care providers from Lewanika General Hospital in which they identified leadership education, mentoring and training as top priorities.
  • Consultation with regulatory bodies, health faculty across academic institutions in Mongu and Lusaka, senior hospital administration from the Ministry of Health.
  • Numerous workshops on leadership skills with staff from Lewanika General Hospital.
  • Multi-year collaborative leadership project on ‘Documentation and Nursing Standards’ with goals to; 1) improve the way nurses document 2) explore transformational leadership 3) work together to promote change.

Future Work

  • Continue the ‘Documentation and Nursing Standards’ project as an example of leadership in action.
  • Create a formal leadership program for all senior ward nurses at Lewanika General Hospital, including; 1) A practical exercise encouraging participants to carry out a small leadership project on their wards 2) provide a network of leadership mentors to guide participants and their project of choice. 
  • Collaborate with Zambian colleagues from Lewanika General Hospital, Lewanika School of Nursing and University of Zambia to develop and co-teach nursing leadership curriculum.
  • Develop leadership modules for other health disciplines.
  • Develop a leadership practicum for health care students in nursing, public health and medicine and provide opportunities for mentorship.

Current Volunteer Opportunities

We have need for volunteers to develop leadership curriculum and workshops.

We welcome individuals with leadership experience in health care to work with Zambian colleagues remotely and in Zambia to co- teach curriculum and co-lead workshops.

Program Lead: Fay Karp

Any questions, comments and inquiries regarding this program can be sent to

of the patients referred to the Cancer Diseases Hospital in Lusaka have advanced disease.
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If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. If you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” Lila Watson

Keep up the great education and motivational work. I can see the hospital improving bit by bit and the patients benefiting from your dedicated work.



Okazhi’s mission is carried out by the hard work of our volunteers and we are always looking to expand our team worldwide. Although we are recruiting healthcare disciplines, we are also in great need of all professions and skillsets to achieve our mission.