The Cultural Attaché for the U. S. Embassy in Ghana, Mrs. Elizabeth Ategou, has underscored the United States government’s investment in young Africans, through initiatives as YALI, as a representation of the United States’ partnership with African countries. This partnership, according to Mrs. Ategou, supports ideas, aspirations, and the efforts of African youth to promote African solutions to African challenges.
The Cultural Attaché was hopeful that the lessons young African leaders learn at the YALI Regional Leadership Center (RLC) West Africa, Accra, will provide a life-long reservoir of resources from which young African leaders can draw.
Mrs Elizabeth Ategou made these remarks during the opening ceremony for participants of Cohort 15 of YALI RLC Accra on Monday November 4, 2019.
Mrs. Elizabeth Ategou delivers the U. S. Embassy’s remarks at the opening ceremony
The opening ceremony saw 126 young Africans drawn from nine countries within the sub-region commence their three-week onsite training at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).
Project Director for the YALI RLC Accra, Dr. Mrs. Shola Safo-Duodu, in her welcome remarks, paid glowing tribute to project partners USAID, MasterCard Foundation, DOW Chemical Company and GIMPA for their continued support to making the YALI RLC program possible.
Dr. Safo-Duodu noted that the YALI RLC Accra has so far held 31 Cohort training sessions since its inception. This comprises 11 online and 20 in-person Cohorts. Of the 20 in-person Cohorts, five have been held in Nigeria with the remaining 15 held in Ghana. These 31 Cohorts have led to the training of a total of 5,177 young leaders who have gone on to make a significant impact in their organizations, communities and countries.
The Accra RLC has so far provided numerous opportunities, such as funding support through the YALI Alumni Innovation Fund (YAIF) and other available funding support, access to some online training among others. These opportunities have catapulted Alumni to continue making the desired impact globally.
The Rector of GIMPA, Prof. Philip Ebow Bondzi-Simpson, in a speech read on his behalf by the Acting Head of GIMPA Business School, Prof. Samuel Famiyeh, urged participants to fully utilize the lifetime opportunity YALI offered them to learn as much as possible from the different cultures present throughout the three-week training. Prof. Bondzi-Simpson added that if participants remain committed to achieving their goals of becoming YALI-trained leaders, they stood the chance of contributing to make the world better.
Participants displayed the rich culture of the nine participating countries during the opening dinner, while sharing interesting facts about their countries.
Team Ghana displays its diversity during the country performance
Team Togo do the agbadza dance to tell their story
In July 2014, the U. S. Government announced the creation of four Regional Leadership Centers (RLCs) in Ghana, Kenya, Senegal and South Africa. These Centers serve as regional hubs across the continent to encourage transformational learning and enhanced leadership skills. The RLCs are a collaborative effort between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in close partnership with the MasterCard Foundation and other private sector partners. Each RLC is managed under a public-private partnership.
The YALI Regional Leadership Center, Accra, located at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) has, since its inception, trained 5,177 young Africans from nine countries within the sub region. The Center trains participants through the hybrid and online methods. The hybrid approach trains participants both online and in-person over a five-week period, while the online approach comprises an eight-week training period online. Participants at the post training stage undergo community service or internship, mentorship and the writing of a post training report. The completion of this phase qualifies Alumni to join the YALI RLC Accra Alumni.