Nigeria’s renowned youth leader; Amb. Sunday-Chibuzo Okereke wins triple awards at the just concluded President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), Regional Leadership Center-Accra. Amb. Okereke is the Regional Representative (West Africa), African Union Chapter (AUC) a continental youth body that is focused on implementing the African Union Agenda 2063. He is also the founder/Executive Director ProjectHopeAlive: A youth initiative that have been leading change in the areas of inclusive quality education, youth & leadership and wise governance/electoral integrity in Nigeria. Covener-GreenThumbAfrica.
Amb. Okereke whose quality of representation, participation, excellence, and delivery skills was described as excellent, resourceful and great show of quality leadership by the organisers; received the award of : The YALI SPIRIT OF LEADERSHIP, MOST INTERACTIVE PARTICIPANT and was conferred with the highest honour of YALI-RLC… THE YALI AMBASSADOR.
The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) was launched by President of the United States Barack Obama as a signature effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders; which began in 2014, with the mandate to empower young people through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking. The need to invest in grooming strong, results-oriented leaders comes out of the statistics: nearly 1 in 3 Africans are between the ages of 10 and 24, and approximately 60% of Africa’s total population is below the age of 35. Who will empower and lead these young Africans? Who will shape the future of business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership, and public policy management? In order to answer these questions, YALI promotes three models designed to identify and empower young leaders: the YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship, YALI Network and now the establishment of Regional Leadership Centers across Africa.
Supporting this progress, the Accra Regional Leadership Centre (RLC), a part of President Obama’s Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI), offers an innovative and game changing leadership training program in Africa. The program is hosted by Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), and with Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) as Nigeria’s Campus.
The five weeks long programme featured trainings in: Visioning & Motive for Leadership; effective communication; emotional intelligence; leadership & resilience; personal statement; culture & leadership; leading change & dynamics; corruption, leadership & followership; Ethical Leadership; Ethics, morality and legality; Public Finance, resource mobilization and management; Public policy cycle and stakeholders management; urbanization and sustainable cities; health and policy; Gender and diversity; Technology and urbanization; Business Model Canvas; Innovation and Managing Change and new venture creation. Participants were grouped along key tracks such as: Public Policy Management; Civic Leadership and Entrepreneurship and animal energy groups which include the Elephants; Lions and Eagles for effective participation and learning. Here, the participants solved leadership case studies that highlight the importance of teamwork, collaboration, tolerance, reasoning, courage, respect and time management. The young change makers treated the case study of Corruption in La paz-city of Bolivia from the J F Kennedy School of government and leadership simulation exercise to climb to the summit of mount Everest from the Harvard Management school.
The YALI Nigeria Cohort one recorded 150 change makers/young African leaders drawn from seven West African countries of: Nigeria(host), Ghana, The Gambia, Cote d’ Viore, Cameroon, Liberia and Sierra Leone who have demonstrated leadership, innovation and community impact in their respective countries. Amongst which are over 100 Nigerians.
The YALI Nigeria Cohort one was organized by YALI Regional Leadership Centre-Accra in partnership with USAID, GIMPA, The MasterCard Foundation, Africa 2.0, University of Notre Dame, Presidential Precinct, Howard University, Lagos Business School, Microsoft, Atlasmara, IBM and ASCON.
Addressing the press at the closing ceremony held at the prestigious ASCON auditorium, the newly honoured YALI Ambassador/recipient of the YALI spirit of leadership award: Chibuzo Sunday Okereke commended President Obama for his thought towards African youth in establishing the YALI program. He expressed deep gratitude to USAID, U.S Embassy Nigeria and Ghana, Department of state, Africa 2.0, YALI-RLC-Accra, GIMPA and ASCON for their commitment in putting up an excellent organization of the YALI Nigeria Cohort one.
Ambassador Okereke assured the organisers of the YALI project and partners that the participants will exemplify excellent conduct in their daily lives and be a good Ambassador of the program. He said “We came into this program five weeks ago as raw materials but now we have been processed into quality finished product that are ready to be consumed in the educational sector, public policy management, health, politics and governance, business management and entrepreneurship, civic leadership and all other sectors of our national and continental lives”. Whilst presenting a take-home document produced by a group of participants on the 150 problems and solutions already been solved by the YALI Nigeria Cohort one participants; Amb. Okereke emphasised that “We are the young Africans who have quit agonizing but have started to organize, speak out and take positive actions on issues of concern in our dear continent of Africa. Amb. Sunday Okereke went on to salute his fellow participants for displaying excellence, enthusiasm, quality participation, teamwork, tolerance in all tasks, assignments, debates, creative works and networking throughout the training program.
Amb. Okereke called on young Africans who are leading change in the areas of social development, community development, innovation/technology, public management, health and advocacy, law/human rights and all other areas of development works to take advantage of the unique opportunities offered by the President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Regional Leadership Centres across Africa to build their leadership capacities, expand their network and experience quality mentorship by visiting www.yaliwestafrica.org for applications and other learning opportunities including online courses.
Amb. Sunday Chibuzo Okereke also called on national governments, regional and continental bodies, development organizations, the private sector, multi-national organizations, foreign missions and well to do individuals to emulate USAID and US Embassy who have continued to shoulder the burden of building the capacities of Nigerians and Africans youth across time by keying into the numerous partnership opportunities offered by theYoung African Leaders Initiative, Regional Leadership Center.