Young African women poised for change in their various countries and the Diaspora are currently undergoing leadership development training in Accra, Ghana. This year’s training opened on Monday 14th July, 2014, and has a total of 26 participants from 26 countries on the continent.
The countries are: Ghana; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Ivory Coast; Cameroon; Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); Ethiopia; The Gambia; Liberia; Malawi; Mozambique; Nigeria; Rwanda; Senegal; Sierra Leone, and Somalia.
The rest are: South Sudan; South Africa; Tanzania; Tunisia; Zambia; Zimbabwe; Uganda; Sudan and Benin.
The opening ceremony witnessed the presence of personalities including: Mrs. Betty Mould-Iddrisu, former Attorney General; Mrs. Esther Cobbah, CEO of Stratcom Africa; Ms. AdwoaBami, of the Women Initiative for Self Empowerment (WISE); DzifaGomashie; Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism, and Mr. John Ackon, Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection.
According to a co-Founder of Moremi Initiative, Mr. Mawuli Dake, the organization seeks to engage, equip and inspire a new generation of African Women Leaders through education and training, mentoring, networking and professional internships, with support and resource assistance.
He said the initiative strives to engage the young women and girls aged between 19 and 25 to become the next generation of leading politicians, activists, social entrepreneurs and change agents.
‘Leaders who can transform institutions and policies that legitimize and perpetuate discrimination against women; we firmly believe that the full participation of women in leadership is a pre-requisite for positive change and development in Africa,’ Mr. Dake stated.
He was hopeful that the ‘talented’ young women would, after the next 3 weeks emerge stronger than ever before and empowered in their various fields of work.
Taking her turn to speak, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Stratcom Africa, Mrs. Esther Cobbah, said ‘when we talk of Africa Rising today, it must be Africans Rising’.
She reiterated that building the capacity to lead is first by recovering the great talent one is endowed with, and cultivating them boldly without allowing the doubts of others to overwhelm him or her.
Therefore, she applauded the organizers of the initiative for putting up such an innovative programme to mentor the young women, and showed admiration for the young women who were selected from the over 1,260 applications submitted.
According to her, women in Africa have been relegated to the background, such that their leadership qualities are not recognized, thus women are in the minority of leadership positions.
She said however, that women can take up leadership roles in every aspect of the economy if they are taken through such development and capacity building programmes.
Mrs. Cobbah advised the young women to take the training sessions seriously and be willing to serve therefrom, by taking up peculiar problems confronting their communities in their various countries.
She admonished: ‘Leadership is not about holding a position and lording or exercising it on people, but rather the commitment to serve and listen to the people. Therefore, the willingness to serve, confers on you even greater power in leadership’.
The Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Mr. John Alexander Ackon, emphasized that one surest way to fight gender inequality is by building the capacity of young women.
He said this can go a long way to solve many of Africa’s problems, particularly gender-based violence, in which women suffer most, early and forced marriage, high rate of illiteracy among women, et cetera.
Mr. Ackon encouraged the girls to take their training seriously to ensure that they are able to put to use the knowledge they acquire to development in their various countries.
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