On Friday, November 22, 2019, U.S. Ambassador Stephanie S. Sullivan addressed and presented plaques to outstanding participants in the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) West Africa Regional Leadership Center (RLC) training program.
One hundred twenty-five (125) participants representing nine countries in the sub-region completed the three-week on-site training in Business and Entrepreneurship, Civic Leadership, and Public Policy Management at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) in Accra. The completion of this training brings the number of young African graduates from the West Africa RLC to more than 5,300 since the U.S. Government launched the program in 2015.
At the closing ceremony, which served as both the graduation ceremony for Cohort 14 and a celebration of the completion of in-person training for Cohort 15, Ambassador Sullivan reaffirmed the commitment of the United States Government to support future African leaders and encouraged participants as they continue to put service above self.
“Each of you will play a key role in shaping the future of West Africa. You are here today because you decided to make a difference in the lives of others. Our hopes are placed in you to unite people across all levels of society to be positive builders of peace and development. It takes a special kind of leader to motivate others to identify and reach common solutions to extraordinary challenges,” said Ambassador Sullivan.
The Rector of GIMPA, Professor Philip Ebow Bondzi-Simpson, praised participants of Cohort 15 for their perseverance throughout the intensive three-week in-person training program.
In July 2014, the U. S. Government announced the creation of four YALI Regional Leadership Centers – one each 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 among the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the MasterCard Foundation, and other private sector partners. Each RLC is managed under a public-private partnership.