The YALI Regional Leadership Center West Africa – Accra has marked the achievement of a project milestone at a colorful event in Accra. Dubbed the 4K+ celebration, the event marked the Center’s success at training over 4,000 young African leaders within a three-year period, as against a project expectation of four years.

In her opening remarks, Project Director at the YALI Accra RLC, Dr. Mrs. Shola Safo-Duodu, paid glowing tribute to past and present staff of the Accra RLC, and implementing partner, GIMPA, for their dedication throughout the period. In terms of numbers, the Project Director indicated that the RLC, had so far trained 4,416 young Africans, with the number expected to increase to over 4,500 by April, 2019. So far, the Center has organized 27 trainings workshops comprising 12 Cohorts in Ghana, 5 in Nigeria and 10 online. In terms of training numbers, the 27 onsite or in-person Cohorts have trained 1,900 young people, which comprises 848 female and 1,052 male participants. Online Cohorts, on the other hand, have led to the training of 2,406 young Africans, made up of 798 female and 1,608 male participants.

The Project Director called on corporate organisations to partner the initiative to share in the project’s success, stressing that this was an opportunity for corporate entities to tag along the impressive YALI brand.

In a speech read on his behalf by Director of General Services, Mr. Kwame A. Prempeh, Rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Prof. Ebow Bondzi-Simpson,  congratulated the Accra RLC on the remarkable feat, while emphasizing the pride of GIMPA, as the implementing partner, in this achievement. The Rector added his voice to the Project Director’s call for corporate bodies to invest in the project to ensure more young people are trained in the public policy, civil leadership and business and entrepreneurship tracks.

The Mission Director of USAID West Africa, Mr. Daniel Moore, congratulated Ghana Cohort 12 participants, while praising the efforts of some participants for their commitment to improving lives in their respective communities. The Mission Director reminded participants that they played a key role in shaping West Africa, stressing on USAID’s hopes on participants and graduands as “agents to unite citizens within their communities and countries across all sectors to be builders of peace and development”.

Outstanding participants of Ghana Cohort 12 were presented with plaques for their sterling performance during the three-week in-person training, while Alumni from Ghana Cohort 11, Nigeria Cohort 5, Online Cohorts 7, 8, 9 and 10 received certificates of completion after sailing through the 12-week post training process.

Jane Gomez, a participant of Ghana Cohort 12, displays her plaque after receiving the YALI Spirit Award

 Eugene Osei-Tutu received the YALI Leadership Award

The climax of the event was the outdooring of the 4K+ logo, which, as Dr. Mrs. Shola Safo-Duodu explained, signifies the Accra RLC’s milestone achievement and a constant reminder of the efforts of all who played diverse roles in ensuring the success of the initiative so far.

Messrs. Moore and Prempeh unveil the 4K+ logo (top) while Dr. Mrs. Safo-Duodu explains the logo’s concept (down)

Past and present staff of the Accra RLC joined hands to cut a cake to signify the achievement of the 4,000 plus feat, to cheers from all present.

Past and present staff of the Accra RLC pose for the cameras after cutting the celebration cake

The Project Director then announced the final list of award winners for the YALI Alumni Innovation Fund (YAIF). The YALI Alumni Innovation Fund is a signature effort of the Accra RLC to provide financial support to YALI Alumni who have set up enterprises. The first set of ten winners will receive up to $10,000 in support to scale up their businesses.

FINAL LIST OF YAIF WINNERS

No.NAMECOUNTRYCOHORT
1Jerald KpaoulouLiberiaGhana Cohort 4
2Alhassan ZakariGhanaGhana Cohort 6
3Lovell Bai BanguraSierra LeoneOnline Cohort 7
4Edem BonifaceGhanaGhana Cohort 10
5Felix Nwose OnyekaNigeriaOnline Cohort 1
6Mohammed Abdul HamidGhanaGhana Cohort 5
7Aminata F. KandehSierra LeoneGhana Cohort 7
8Folasade BamisayeNigeriaNigeria Cohort 1
9Mbuih Zukane RetruyapCameroonGhana Cohort 4
10David Adeola AdelakunNigeriaNigeria Cohort 4

Click here for more pictures from the 4K+ celebration