YALI Regional Leadership Center West Africa, Accra has organized an Ambassadorial Dialogue and Farewell Event for the outgoing U. S. Ambassador to Ghana, H. E. Robert P. Jackson. The event, attended by staff of the Accra RLC, members of YALI Alumni Ghana Chapter, and Mandela Washington Fellows, was a platform for members of the YALI Network to interact with Ambassador Jackson, as the diplomat’s tenure in Ghana draws to a close.

In her welcome and opening remarks, Project Director at the Accra RLC, Dr. Shola Safo-Duodu, outlined the impressive gains the RLC had made in the Center’s “quest to fulfill its mandate of training Emerging Leaders”. The Center, the Project Director added, had “innovated to introduce the online and hybrid training modules to meet the high demand for the Emerging Leaders Training Program”.

In terms of achievement, the Center, according to the Project Director, had, as at April 2018, trained 3,268 Young Leaders, 568 more than the expected cumulative target of training 2,700 Young Leaders, with hopes of hitting the 5,000 mark by the end of the first phase of the project’s implementation.

Dr. Mrs. Shola Safo-Duodu, Project Director, YALI RLC Accra, delivering her welcome and opening remarks

Dr. Mrs. Shola Safo-Duodu also touched on the YALI Alumni Innovation Fund (YAIF), launched in June, 2018. The Fund is the Center’s initiative set up to assist YALI Alumni to scale up enterprises in their chosen fields. YAIF, which is open to all YALI Alumni, will provide funding of up to $10,000 to about 50 Alumni.

Ambassador Robert P. Jackson then interacted with participants, sharing his experience during his tenure in Ghana before responding to some questions posed by YALI Alumni present at the event. The Ambassador expressed his happiness with progress made so far with youth development though the country, according to Ambassador Jackson, had more room for improvement. The Ambassador cited government-led initiatives as the Free SHS, Planting for Food and Jobs and the One District, One Factory initiatives, which when implemented properly, could be the game changers for Ghana. This, Ambassador Jackson noted, will provide more opportunities for more young people to be educated and also venture into available enterprises these initiatives may bring about.

H. E. Ambassador Robert P. Jackson interacts with participants at the event

Ambassador Jackson assured of his commitment to advocate for the sustenance of the project beyond the first phase. This, the U. S. Ambassador added, was as a result of the remarkable achievements of the Accra Regional Leadership Center and the Alumni.

The climax of the event was the presentation of a citation to Ambassador Jackson and the Center’s conferment of the Star of YALI RLC Accra award on H. E. Ambassador Robert P. Jackson.

The Ambassador then commissioned the joint collaborative efforts of YALI Alumni Ghana Chapter and Mandela Washington Fellows, who have resolved, henceforth, to work as a team rather than operate in two separate groups.


Dr. Mrs. Shola Safo-Duodu reads out the citation (left) and presents the Star of YALI RLC Accra award to Ambassador Jackson

For more pictures from the event, click here