The Accra YALI Regional Leadership Center has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the American Chamber of Commerce in Ghana (AmCham) to collaborate to promote and develop West African young businessmen and businesswomen’s entrepreneurial and leadership skills. The partnership will see the American Chamber of Commerce provide resource assistance such as offering of speakers for training sessions, provision of mentoring and internship opportunities for RLC participants, as well as support for operations of the Accra RLC.

The President of AmCham, Mr. Joe Mensah, in his remarks before the signing of the MoU, encouraged young Africans to strive to give back to their countries and the continent in their quest to harness their leadership potentials. This, according to Mr. Mensah, was the surest way of seeing to the development of the continent to realize its potential.

Mr. Joe Mensah said this at the closing ceremony for the YALI Ghana Cohort 13. The ceremony, which also served as the graduating ceremony for Ghana Cohort 12, had 115 participants drawn from nine countries within the sub region complete their three-week in-person training. The graduation ceremony also saw the graduation of some 90 young Africans trained in November, 2018. This brings to 4,531 the number of young Africans trained since 2015 when the initiative commenced.

In her opening remarks, Project Director for the YALI Regional Leadership Center West Africa-Accra, Dr. Mrs. Shola Safo-Duodu, paid glowing tribute to some distinguished individuals, such as H.E. Ambassador Robert P. Jackson, immediate past US Ambassador to Ghana, Mr. Daniel Moore, Mission Director of USAID West Africa, Mr. Pape Sow, USAID West Africa Regional Coordinator and Prof. Ebow Bondzi-Simpson, Rector of GIMPA, who have contributed immensely and in diverse ways to the progress of the initiative throughout the first four years of implementation. The Project Director emphasized preparations made by the Accra RLC in readiness for the next phase of the project, expected to commence in May 2019, adding that training 4,531 young Africans over a four-year period through the adoption of diverse training approaches has been good preparatory grounds for the Accra RLC’s readiness to initiate measures to ensure the sustainability of the Center after April 2021.

Dr. Mrs. Shola Safo-Duodu outlines the achievements of the Accra RLC

Delivering the keynote address, H. E. Christopher J. Lamora, Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy Accra, Ghana, lauded the efforts of the Accra RLC, stressing the US State Department’s appreciation of the Accra RLC’s achievements made throughout the past four years. The Deputy Chief of Mission pledged the United States government’s support for the initiative even as the Accra RLC entered Phase Two of the project, outlining some levels of assistance the US Government has directly and indirectly offered towards the training of young Africans.

Deserving participants of Ghana Cohort 13 received plaques of recognition for their distinguished roles during the three-week training period. Other participants received certificates for emerging winners in the Cohort simulation and inter-Track competitions.