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Yiaga Moves To Tackle Africa’s Leadership Crisis

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Yiaga Moves To Tackle Africa’s Leadership Crisis
Yiaga Moves To Tackle Africa’s Leadership Crisis

Leading civil society organisation (CSO), Yiaga Africa, said the major problem of the continent is leadership and has stepped in to close the gap through its Community Organising Institute.

The CSO which is currently training youths under the age of 30, selected from different countries of Africa including: The Gambia, Liberia, Cameroon and Ghana, said it believed those trained will be agents of change and inspire positive movement.

Speaking during the commencement of the training in Abuja, the director of programmes, Yiaga Africa, Cynthia Nbamalu, said Nigeria and the entire Africa will be better if leadership problem is solved.

“I am very impressed and happy with what is happening today in Nigeria. If we solve the leadership problem in Africa, we have been able to solve more than 90 percent of our problems.

“If you don’t have leaders who know who they are, who don’t have the identity to know what it takes to be a leader, they can fall for anything.

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It means they will not connect with their people. It means whatever comes, they can shift groups at any time because they don’t have values that guide them,” Cynthia said of the programme that is supported by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) based in Washington DC.

“By Just listening to them, there is hope for Nigeria, there is hope for Africa,” Cynthia added.

Cynthia, who said the training for the young leaders have been yearly, added that even though they had hundreds of applications, only 40 were selected for the training.

“We are looking for leaders who are passionate, who are thinkers and who believe they have the power to effect change in the community and at the time they occupy the world.

“This is community organising training. It is part of the Community Organising Institute at Yiaga Africa, and the whole goal is to build the capacity of young civic actors and political leaders to become better leaders in the community and also become change makers who influenced positive reforms at their community, state or national level.”

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“This engagement is not just for Nigerians. We have young people from other African countries – The Gambia, Liberia, Cameroon and Ghana. We also have some Nigerians from across the 36 states,” Cynthia said, stating that the training for the young leaders will take one week.

According to Cynthia, the unconventional training adopts a leadership training module of Harvard Kennedy School of Government and infuses a bit of local context.

“The idea is to build young people at this early stage. All of them are under 30. We are conscious of their importance to build their capacity to lead movement in their communities either within political parties, start some reforms or support youth candidates in their parties or those in the civic space. They will also engage on issues around health, climate change, education and all of them have something they care about,” she said.

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Also speaking, the programme manager, governance and development programmes at Yiaga Africa, Ibrahim Farouk, said the Community Organising Institute has been training agents of change for the past eight years.

“For the past eight years, we have been holding this Programme we called, ‘Youth Organising School,’ but it is expanding and we are now calling it an Institute where we engage with the young people that are community organisers.

“Our focus is the young leaders. We are looking at young community organisers, where we bring them for a week and expose them to principles around organising, leadership and other issues in the community.

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