^^^^^ I agree! The idea will be to reconfigure what the expectation is when you’re taking your dog for a walk. It will take training and I strongly suggest the use of a martingale collar or slip lead when working this behavior because it will send an additional, automatic, and silent message to the dog that will make a treat and voice command that much more effective in the long run.
When you start you’ll have to keep a very short leash so that he learns what the expectation is. You want him trotting at your side, focused on you, not scanning the horizon for potentially poisonous yummies or the next thing to sniff. Eventually (probably far in the future) you might be able to loosen the leash and give him a little more room, but don’t change the expectation! Walks are about being focused on you. When it’s appropriate you can give him ‘sniff breaks’ where you can completely loosen the leash and let him sniff around to his heart’s content. Then when the walk starts up again, his attention must return to you.
And yes it is possible with a basenji (it’s possible with any dog, and making excuses based on breed, which I unfortunately hear from way too many people, achieves absolutely nothing but a miserable owner and a miserable and possibly dead dog) because I’ve done it with mine and it’s made our walks far more enjoyable. I wish you the best of luck!