Professor Dev Tewari, Faculty of Commerce, Administration and Law. University of Zululand. This article is written in a personal capacity of the author and does not reflect views of the employer. African continent needs to grow economically rapidly to eradicate poverty and improve the quality of life of an average African. However, despite being naturally resource rich continent and large human population base, she has lagged behind and her leaders in the past 60 to 70 years have sought foreign aid and funding from the rich West but has terribly failed in attaining what was aimed at. A very scarce resource for achieving good economic progress is the moral leadership and strategic decision making skills of the leaders of the nations. No amount of resources and funding can be substituted for this very scarce resource called the moral capital. In early 19th century, an American poet named Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) wrote a marvellous poem called “Men Wanted”. Key punch line was, Not only gold, but only men can make a nation great and strong, Men who for truth and honor’s sake stand fast and suffer long. These are eternal lines and still true after a century later and will remain so in the future. A famous development economist Boserup and Nobel laureate economist George Schulze said the same thing. In brief, it is the quality of our people that matters the most and the moral capital matters the most in making these people worthy resource for the nation. The leaders/men/ women who have integrity and who stand fast and suffer long for truth and honour are needed to make strategic nation building decisions. It does not mean that Africa did not have these kind of people; who does not know Nelson Mandela, who gave a strategic positive direction to our country--South Africa? But we need more of these types of people in leadership and also in various business, education and other sectors of the economy. These leaders who have moral capital build reputation and integrity of the institutions and an atmosphere of trust and hope in the society. The moral capital thus refers to a set of attitudes that enables individuals to better the functionality of social exchange. However, bulding the moral capital requires time and money or investment too; investment in families, schools, education, communities, social morals, professional ethics, and family and institutional and constitutional virtues. These attributes finally lead to the production of integrity and commitment among human beings to the social ideals of a moralistic society. We should remember Aristotle of Greece who said that virtues can be cultivated and they are not inborn characteristics of individuals. So we can cultivate these virtues and grow moral capital as a resource that is a pre-requisite for economic progress to take place on a sound footing. Many countries with a good stock of resources at the beginning have become poorer over the years as resources were mismanaged and not good strategic decisions were made. A good example is Ghana and South Korea; these two countries had similar beginging but by today you can see a stark difference in their economies—an unbelievable one. This never means that the economic progress is due to moral capital alone, rather it is an outcome of various factors. Lack of moral capital will induce corruption and perverseness of decisions by leaders which will not be in the interest of the nation and her people. Not only that the institutions will be corrupted and will not do but also create culture of jungle. Imagine if you can buy a decision in your favour from a court, what will be the situation of genral public and rule of law? This culture will then percolate to lower levels of society and we will grow into a decadent society. Can we build moral capital and improve the general lot of the society? The answer is yes and it can be done if we have those men or women as suggested by the poet Emerson. We need three-pronged strategy. First, the knowldege is power; we have to teach or inculcate these basic integrity principles in the schools as early as age 5 year children. Kindergarten is a foundation and then we can build above on that. Two, we need people of will for upliftment. we create institutions of integrity; this requires not simply good rules and constitutions, but a moral culture in the minds of people. Good cultural organizations induce integrity. A culture is a set of rules, ethos and goals that people cherish and make efforts to attain. We need to choose the right goals too. Who makes culture? It’s the leaders and people in the mind of the poet Emerson. Are we doing enough to create such culture is a question that we need to ask ourselves. Three, action is power. we need to create a merit based society, yet a support system to help those who are less advantaged. Creation of excellence cannot be sacrificed for the petty gains in the short run by promoting mediocrity. We need to have culture of actions. Let’s think and begin this process and it can be done to make a nation great.