Editor's note: George Ayittey is a Ghanaian economist and the author of several books on Africa, including "Africa Unchained" and the forthcoming "Defeating Dictators in Africa and Around The World." In 2008, Ayittey was listed by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the "Top 100 Public Intellectuals" of our time. He writes for Africa 50, CNN's special coverage looking at 17 African nations marking 50 years of independence this year.
(CNN) -- Currently, Africa -- a continent immensely rich with mineral resources and yet mired in poverty -- suffers from a catastrophic leadership failure or monumental deficit of leadership.
Since 1960, there have been 210 African heads of state, but just try to find 10 -- just 10 -- good ones among them. Names like Mandela, Nkrumah, Nyerere easily come to mind but then rapidly fall off.
But there is hope in what I call the "Cheetah Generation." read more...