The YALI Regional Leadership Center (RLC) West Africa, Accra, has commenced an onsite training of 127 young Africans at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration GIMPA, Accra.
The initiative, which forms part of the Emerging Leaders Programme and funded by USAID, Mastercard Foundation and other partners, is the eleventh to be held in Ghana. Already, five of such training had been organized in Nigeria and seven held online, making a total of 23 so far.
The Emerging Young Leaders Programme, which commenced in 2015, will draw participants from nine West African countries made up of Ghana, Togo, Cote D’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, and Cameroon.
Dr Mrs Shola Safo-Duodu, the Project Director of the YALI Regional Leadership Center, West Africa, in her opening address assured the trainees of the Center’s “readiness to deliver the best experiential leadership training package over the period of the training, as has been the hallmark of the Center”.
The initiative, she said, received over 5,000 applications for the training in Ghana and out of the number, the Center screened and selected 151 to commence the mandatory initial two-week online training.
Dr Mrs Safo-Duodu said a total of 131 participants, out of the selected 151, who completed the onli ne training, made it to the onsite training. She said in terms of achievement, the Regional Leadership Center, between May 2015 and April 2018, has trained 3,393 Young Leaders.
“This represents 121 per cent performance achievement, as against the expected cumulative target of training 2,700 Young Leaders by the end of the project’s third year of implementation.
Dr Mrs Safo-Duodu also gave an update on the recently launched YALI Alumni Innovation Fund (YAIF), saying that, the YAIF is the RLC’s effort at assisting YALI Alumni to create more opportunities through the expansion of businesses, concepts and initiatives, aimed at creating jobs, improving livelihoods and providing more opportunities for YALI Alumni to excel in their fields of work.
She said submitted applications and budgets for the Fund are currently under review.
Professor Ebow Bondzi-Simpson, the Rector of GIMPA, in a speech read on his behalf by the Deputy Rector, Prof. Philip Osei-Duku, welcomed the participants to GIMPA, the implementing institution of the Emerging Leaders Programme.
Prof Bondzi-Simpson said the institute was ever ready to provide participants with the best support throughout their three-week training period. Mr Pape Sow, the YALI West Africa Regional Coordinator at USAID West Africa, urged the participants to guard jealously, the resources at their disposal, namely, time, finances and power entrusted in their care as they embark on their leadership journey.
“This will go a long way to determine your leadership qualities and skills after the completion of your training,” he said.
Mr Sow encouraged the participants to make judicious use of time especially during the training period, respect the beliefs and values of others, and ensure that they build on what they would learn into their everyday lives.
The YALI, Young African Leaders Initiative was launched by the Government of the United States of America as a signature effort to invest in the next generation of African Leaders by grooming strong and result-oriented leaders.
In July 2014, the U.S. Government announced the creation of four Regional Leadership Centers in Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, and Senegal. RLCs are physical footprints across the continent which serve as hubs to encourage transformational learning and enhance leadership skills.
The Accra Regional Leadership Center, implemented by GIMPA commenced operations in 2015 with the aim of training and equipping 4,000 young Africans with leadership skills in key areas of focus, essential to the development of the continent.
The initiative trains young people between the ages of 18 and 35 in three tracks: Public Policy and Management; Civic Leadership; and Business and Entrepreneurship.