"This issue of Conflict Trends focuses on leadership in Africa, since leadership is one of the many factors that influence conflicts. This is even more significant in Africa and other parts of the developing world, where broad-based governance within democratic parameters has not yet taken root and where voting for personalities is still more common than voting for party manifestos. Consequently, power becomes centred at the top and leaders wield immense influence, often holding positive societal change hostage until they are overthrown (like Mobutu of Zaire) or die (like Abacha of Nigeria). In the process, their actions have negatively influenced the future of their countries for generations to come. Africa is currently experiencing a generational change. New leaders will, for the first time, have very little exposure, experience an attachment to the colonial struggles waged by their predecessors. "