Mission Director for USAID West Africa, Daniel Moore, has encouraged participants of YALI Cohort 39 to take advantage of the three-week leadership training to dig deep, forge lasting bonds and build a strong regional network of young leaders from across the sub region. This, he said, was as a result of Cohort 39’s composition and uniqueness, which contributes to an incredible learning journey. Cohort 39, the Mission Director added, represents the diversity and youthful talent of West Africa, a factor which required participants to share and be open to growth as they seek to develop themselves from the YALI experience.
Mr. Moore said this during the opening ceremony for Cohort 39 of the YALI Regional Leadership Center West Africa, Accra. The Mission Director acknowledged the challenges the past two years have presented as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, stressing that despite these challenges, YALI Alumni have stepped up as the leaders they truly are to help stop the spread of the pandemic. This, Alumni of the Center did through sensitization, advocacy, distribution of relief items, coordinating feeding programs and training disadvantaged children to make their own face shields. Mr. Moore commended the Accra Regional Leadership Center, led by Dr. Shola Safo-Duodu, for the great work the Center has done over the years including pivoting to an online-only program and supporting other RLCs around the continent in making that transition. These trailblazing efforts, he added, were the embodiment of what the Center is developing in its young African leaders.
Mr. Daniel Moore commending the Accra RLC
Rector of Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Prof. Samuel Kwaku Bonsu, in his remarks, reminded participants that as youth leaders they “are the engine of the change we all want in Africa”, thus, participants were expected to work towards being the best change agents across the continent.
Prof. Samuel K. Bonsu delivering GIMPA’s remarks to participants
Cohort 39 comprises 76 participants drawn from nine countries within the sub region and is the first onsite cohort of the Accra RLC since March 2020. Participants comprise 29 male and 47 female, “a feat that speaks to the Center’s resolve to bridge all gender barriers to give equal opportunities to deserving young people to receive YALI training”, Dr. Shola Safo-Duodu, Project Director at the YALI Accra RLC added.
Participating countries include Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Togo, The Gambia, Liberia and Cameroon. Participants are undergoing a three-week onsite training in leadership, with focus on one of three tracks: Business and Entrepreneurship, Civic Leadership and Public Policy and Management.
The opening ceremony saw rich cultural displays of diverse national and cultural practices across the nine countries.