The YALI Regional Leadership Center (RLC) West Africa, Accra welcomed close to 200 Alumni of the Emerging Leaders Program to the 2022 YALI West Africa Accra Alumni Homecoming in Lomé, Togo in December 2022. Participating were Alumni from seven of the RLC’s nine countries; namely: Togo, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Cameroon, and Ghana. The Homecoming event was the fourth to be held by the YALI Accra RLC and the first to be hosted by a francophone country. Togo and Ghana Alumni Chapters collaborated to plan the event.

Highlights of the event were “lightning talks” and a Social Innovation Conference that featured experts from business enterprise, civic leadership, and public policy spaces. A live edition of “YALI Connect”, a monthly virtual Alumni interactive event was aired.

A Dinner & Awards Night crowned the event. Deserving Alumni were recognized for their service to, and impact on, their communities under the YALI Accra Alumni Excellence Awards. Winners of the RLC’s Chapter Matching Grants, and Community Engagement Fund were announced.

Project Director of the YALI Accra RLC, Dr. Esi E. Sey, praised Alumni for their initiatives, interventions, and impact in their spheres of influence. Dr. Sey invited Alumni to step fully into the Center’s increasing strategic focus on the Alumni portfolio, and the opportunities this offered for support to their efforts at community engagement and cascading of the training they received under the Emerging Leaders Program. She encouraged Alumni to collaborate with each other for greater impact.

Ambassador Elizabeth Fitzsimmons applauded the efforts of Togo-based partners of the Accra RLC, namely Nunya Lab, Handicap Solidarite and Groupe Réflexion et d’Action Femme, Démocratie et Développement (GF2D), for their support to the Center’s efforts at reaching, recruiting, and training young people from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds.

US Ambassador to Togo, H.E. Elizabeth Fitzsimmons, appreciates the efforts of the Accra RLC and its alumni

Ambassador Fitzsimmons expressed her appreciation of the Accra RLC’s efforts at strengthening its collaboration with U.S. Embassies in Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Liberia, and Togo, and by this, connecting Alumni to opportunities on offer by the US Government. She encouraged Alumni to “share their success stories, learn from one another and explore more ways of collaborating with other alumni to impact (their) communities, organizations, and countries”.

Ambassador Elizabeth Fitzsimmons presented plaques to winners of the Alumni Excellence Awards. Winners of the Chapter Matching Grant and Community Engagement Fund were also announced during the awards night.

Ambassador Fitzsimmons presents alumna Amdiya Abdul Latif with her award plaque during the ceremony

In July 2014, the U. S. Government announced the creation of four Regional Leadership Centers 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 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 over 7,400 young Africans from nine countries within the sub region. The Center trains participants through the hybrid and online delivery channels. 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 graduates of the program  to join the YALI RLC Accra Alumni.