On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, the U.S. Embassy hosted 70 young leaders ages 18-35 from across Ghana and Nigeria. Each had recently completed an intensive 5-week leadership training at the YALI Regional Leadership Center (RLC) in Accra. They were welcomed by U.S. Ambassador Robert P. Jackson and USAID-West Africa Mission Director Alexandre Deprez. Other speakers included members from the Public Affairs Section and USAID-West Africa, as well as Mandela Washington Fellow Balky Buba from Cameroon, who was visiting Accra for another conference.
In his remarks, Ambassador Jackson encouraged the alumni by saying: “Your work as YALI alumni is just beginning, and we know that you will rise to the challenges ahead and take seriously your roles as global citizens. See yourself as a key contributor to your country, Africa, and the world. We all share one planet and one home. If Ghana and Africa prosper, then the United States and the world also prosper. Peace and prosperity are shared goals. You are the builders of a new Africa, a continent where innovation and youth leadership in all sectors is needed to promote vibrant democracies and private sectors reflecting that Africa is indeed open for business. Be proud of the fact that you are a special member of 1,700 young leaders from all sectors who have been positively impacted by your experiences at the YALI RLC based here in Accra.”
Mr. Deprez also lauded the alumni on their achievements, and observed that the American people through USAID-West Africa is proud to sponsor the YALI Regional Leadership Center in partnership with other sponsors.
Ms. Balky Buba congratulated the youth and urged them, “as a Cameroonian, to work towards empowering African youth across borders because together we believe in Africa. Our hopes are intertwined, we share the same aspirations for a more peaceful and prosperous future looking beyond our own respective countries into the continent and world at large. To succeed, we must advance peace and welcome the immense talents and contributions of all citizens, especially women and girls to truly promote development. Our generation has the responsibility to build that better future which is possible, and will come through our efforts and dedication.”
The YALI West Africa Regional Leadership Center provides high quality training, mentoring, and networking support to hundreds of young leaders in business, civic leadership, and public management. Please visit www.yaliwestafrica.org to sign up for more information.