YALI Regional Leadership Center West Africa – Accra has commenced the onsite training of YALI Nigeria Cohort 5 at the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) in Badagry, Lagos. The three-week residential training commenced with a rich display of culture from participants drawn from all nine countries within the RLC’s scope.

In a welcome speech read on her behalf, Mrs. C. U. Gayya mni, Director-General of the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON), welcomed participants to the three-week training, adding that the training program is “an opportunity of a lifetime”, while encouraging participants to “make the most of it”. The Director-General was hopeful that with the training modules and participatory activities lined up for YALI participants, the training provided a great opportunity to “gain knowledge, skills and the appropriate attitude as well as network to enhance leadership capacity and capabilities”

In her opening remarks, Dr. Mrs. Shola Safo-Duodu, YALI RLC West Africa Project Director, urged participants to “fully immerse (themselves) in each activity and not drawn by other interests” in the course of the three-week training, stressing that the opportunity for young people to “build (their) potential as Emerging Leaders comes but once”.


Dr. Shola Safo-Duodu, YALI RLC Project Director, delivers her inaugural speech

The YALI RLC Project Director used the opportunity to highlight the recently launched YALI Alumni Innovation Fund (YAIF). YAIF, launched on June 25, 2018, is a revolving fund set up by YALI RLC West Africa with a seed amount of US$ 300,000 to provide essential seed capital and technical assistance to young African leaders who have undergone YALI training. The YAIF support will enable investments in promising enterprises, thereby fostering opportunity and development in Africa. The Fund aims at selecting and funding young African leaders to launch or expand their revenue-generating ventures; linking young leaders with business development partners to facilitate mentoring, as well as providing professional advice and technical know-how, and improving business outcomes.

Participants displayed the rich culture of their respective countries during the national performance section of the ceremony. From the singing of national anthems and patriotic songs through poetry recitals and cultural dance displays, the colorful event gave everyone present something to reminisce.



Participants display their rich national culture at the opening ceremony

In all, 125 participants were finally selected from a total of 9,478 applicants from nine West African countries. The initial 153 participants who commenced the mandatory two-week online training, were whittled down to a final 125 (86 male and 39 female) who completed the online component of the training. Out of the 125 finalist, 52 are being trained in the Civic Leadership track, 27 in the Public Policy and Management track with the remaining 46 opting for the Entrepreneurship track.

YALI Emerging Leaders Program, implemented by the Regional Leadership Center West Africa – Accra, is a USAID and Mastercard Foundation-funded initiative with support from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), and the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON).

Click here to see more pictures from the YALI Nigeria Cohort 5 opening ceremony

To read more on the YALI Alumni Innovation Fund (YAIF), click here