Dr. Shola Safo-Duodu, the woman at the center of the YALI Regional Leadership Center West Africa, Accra’s successful turnaround over the past five years, has bowed out as the Project Director of the Center. Dr. Safo-Duodu retired from her role at the end of April, 2022 after a sterling time leading the Accra RLC.

The immediate past Director of the Center is credited with the transformation of the Accra RLC into a center of leadership excellence. Within her tenure, which spanned from December 2016 to April 2022, she oversaw the successful training of 7,329 young Africans from nine countries, from an initial 1,274 when she took up the role. This significant feat was made possible through two major and bold decisions made under the leadership of Dr. Safo-Duodu – the reduction in the onsite training duration from five weeks to three weeks and the introduction of an online mode of training delivery.

Dr. Shola Safo-Duodu interacts with a team from the US Embassy in Yaoundé during a recent trip to Cameroon

 Dr. Safo-Duodu also led the Center’s partnership drive across six out of the nine participating countries as well as in the United States. These partnership trips targeted institutions, women and persons with disability interest-groups, incubators and businesses that current provide varied levels of support to the Center. Through these partnerships, the Center is now able to directly reach and train more young Africans from the nine participating countries.


Dr. Safo-Duodu interacted with partners in the United States (left) and Cote d’Ivoire (right)

Dr. Safo-Duodu explains the YALI project to a group of visually impaired students in Cote d’Ivoire

 On the Alumni front, the former Director inaugurated Alumni Chapters in Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire and recently, Cameroon. In the process, she interacted with Alumni and conducted site visits of their enterprises and initiatives. Dr. Safo-Duodu’s contribution to the success of the Accra RLC has strategically positioned Center as a renowned center for leadership excellence.


The immediate past Project Director also interacted with Alumni of the Accra RLC regularly. Here, she visited and interacted with Aicha Toure (left) in Cote d’Ivoire and Baimba Osman Sheriff and other Alumni in Sierra Leone

Dr. Safo-Duodu also spearheaded the conversation around and establishment of YALI Africa, a harmonization of the activities of all four YALI RLCs across the continent. Her role as Chair of YALI Africa’s Steering Committee has contributed to making YALI Africa vibrant and representative of the collective efforts of all four YALI RLCs across the continent.

YALI Accra RLC wishes Dr. Shola Safo-Duodu well in her next endeavor.

Mr. Gabriel Tetteh Kwabla is currently the Acting Project Director of the Center, until a substantive Project Director is appointed.