I must say that you have touched a nerve here. Dignity is a very important aspect of human existence, which needs to be valued and upheld.
The view that leaders are only responsible for the growth and development of a country is misplaced. As you have rightly put it, shared responsibility to demean wrong doing is critical for the betterment of a country. I am of the view that a country is as good as its leaders and its people. The conviction citizens of a country have concerning their individual and collective responsibility is vital in moving forward a development agenda. This, I believe, shall instill dignity.
Already, there is enough pity, contempt and apathy with regard to Africa’s ability to change. A colleague of mine (who is currently reading the book North of South written by Shiva Naipaul in 1970) told me “it seems nothing has changed since then”. Although, this is a view that needs to change by leading a dignified existence, I cannot accept the view that Africa has not changed over the past 43 years.
However, I am aware that a lot needs to be done to free the continent from perceived and real mediocrity, ineptitude, and failure. This requires every African to understand and practice his/her civic duty and to be proud of being a citizen of a country. By the way, in my country we have a proverb, which goes as follows: “a bar of salt not valued by the owner cannot be accepted by a debtor”. This was when salt was used as a national currency. However, the proverb is still relevant, and Rwanda’s progress over the past 18 years is a vivid example of respecting your own bar of salt and using it effectively to improve the test of who you are as a citizen of a country. The principle and practice of demeaning wrong doing at all levels is expected from leaders and followers.