Shikamo was conceived in response to a pervasive political status quo in most African states, which is typified by political decision-making that is highly emotive, personalised and ethnicised. As a political advisory and campaign services consultancy firm, our objective is to prompt a departure from this problematic culture of African politics. The new brand of politics that we envision and advocate for is premised on strategy, it is evidence-based, context-specific, people-centered and data-driven. The new brand of politics we champion is one that places an obligation on political leaders to be cognisant of and responsive to the lived realities of citizens.
We are alive to the fact that attempting to influence the political culture in African states requires us to ask hard questions to which there are no easy answers and confront historical legacies characterised by varying forms of fracture for which there are no simple remedies. We are mindful of fundamental issues that need to be addressed particularly in an era where we have witnessed the rise of left-wing and right wing politics, along with the resurgence of populism – all of which we must navigate with as much moral courage as we can muster.
We are optimistic that a new brand of politics would translate to more skilled candidates willing to throw their hat in the ring as oftentimes the least worthy end up in public office by either wielding brute force, or adopting the fatalistic disposition typical of those with nothing to lose. Simply put, politics as it is practiced currently is a dirty game and very few quality candidates who can understand and craft policies to positively transform the lives of the populace are interested in putting their good names forward to be sullied.
The gap that Shikamo endeavors to fill involves equipping skilled and capable candidates who aspire for public office by assuming handholding role for aspirants within party structures. In its advisory capacity, Shikamo is strategically positioned to tackle a number of issues and use modern technology towards that end. To advance a new brand of politics, Shikamo wants to develop tools that meet the needs of a voter and candidates to determine what works and what doesn’t. Moreover, the Shikamo approach to realising a new brand of politics is to reflect on how to communicate with specific voters to understand how effectiveness of our tools. Our preoccupation is to ensure our message resonates with the electorate and that political leaders foreground the concerns and needs of voters.
With a combined 40 years of political campaigns experience that spans across Africa, Europe, Latin America and Asia, the Shikamo team contends with:
- Poor quality of leadership in politics
- Restive citizenry demanding results
- Ruling party failing to reform because of lack of tools and resources to self-correct
- Opposition parties failing to rise beyond criticism of ruling go map an agenda that provides an alternative
Shikamo steps in to offer solutions and strategy to meet expectations of each of these challenges.