Ghana’s contingent to the 2016 edition of the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI), hosted at the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) Badagry in Lagos, Nigeria have topped the awards scheme organised by officials of ASCON.
YALI, an initiative of President Barack Obama, is a signature effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders.
Officials of ASCON held the awards scheme as part of the five-week training programme which was organised by the YALI Regional Leadership Centre, West Africa, and partnered by the USAID, and Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).
The participants made up of 134 young Africans came from Ghana, Nigeria, Gambia, Cote d’ Ivoire, Cameroon, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
They were taken through three key modules being Civil Society and Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Public Policy Management; and these included courses like Urbanisation, Ethics, Gender and Health, Stimulation, and Creativity.
The Ghanaian contingent won five prestigious awards out of the nine categories, with Nana Osei Nkwantabisa (privately known as Evans Osei Baffour), Nkosuohene of Lower Axim Traditional Area, winning two of the awards made up of the Most Disciplined Participant of the cohort and the Best Prize in Presentation Skills.
Again among the Ghanaian contingent, the Most Impactful Participant award was also awarded to Mr Yakubu Yusuf while Mr Kweku Ankomah Asare won the Team Spirited award and Ms Doreen Onyinye Anene won the Good Leadership award.
Another participant, Mr Peter Paul Akanko was also nominated for the most interactive personality award as well as being part of the team which won the Stimulation of the Mountain Everest Game.
However, Nigeria placed second in the award categories, winning four awards in all.
A statement signed by the contingent’s convener Mr Yakubu Yusuf in Accra said Ghana’s team was made up of 20 participants from various social backgrounds.
It said the Ghanaian contingent exhibited good sense of team spirit, high sense of discipline and good leadership skills among their peers from other countries.
“The participants were put into three animal groups namely the Elephant Group, Eagles and Lions Group where they had the opportunity to interact and participate in the various activities with their members from other countries”
The training programme enabled participants to learn other cultural values from their counterparts from other countries.
Mr Yusuf on behalf of the contingents commended the organisers and their various key stakeholders such as the USAID, the USA Embassy in Ghana, GIMPA, and ASCON.
The need to invest in grooming strong, results-oriented leaders comes out of the statistics which reveals that nearly one in three Africans are between the ages of 10 and 24, and approximately 60 per cent of Africa’s total population is below the age of 35.
YALI promotes three models namely the YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship, YALI Network and now the establishment of Regional Leadership Centres across Africa, designed to identify and empower young leaders in Africa.
The programme has gone through four cohorts successfully.