Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has tasked the leadership of Africa to prioritise the development of the skills of its youth in a more professional way than previously done.

He said the continent could not expect the next generation of leaders to work things out through trial and error, and assume to have better a result

Vice President Amissah-Arthur made the statement when he inaugurated the Regional Leadership Centre of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).

YALI is an initiative of U.S President Barack Obama to encourage young Africans to maximise their contribution to Africa's growth and prosperity.

The Accra centre, since its inception in August 2015, has trained participants between the ages of 18 and 35 from Ghana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Gambia, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Togo in leadership skills to help transform their countries.

So far the Accra centre has trained more than 300 young West African leaders in Business and Entrepreneurship, Civic Leadership and Public Administration.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur stated that the initiative was significant because it sought to address a very critical component of nation building, which was the issue of leadership. He said focusing on the next generation would identify the new generation of entrepreneurs, activists, and public officials and strengthen the quality of leadership they provided.

Mr Amissah-Arthur expressed the hope that the initiative would provide a substantial amount of mentoring, internship and practical work, explaining that the practical skills development would enhance the relevance of the programme.

Dr Christina Amoako-Nuama, the Chair of the GIMPA Governing Council, announced that the Institute had signed a Global Alliance Cooperative Agreement with the USAID and other partners to run the regional YALI. She said the agreement spanned a four year period from May 15, 2015 to April 30, 2019.

She said the total budget for the four-year period was $25million with USAID providing $12.5 million, MasterCard Foundation - $4 million and GIMPA and its partners, funding the remainder of the budget.

Dr Victor Osei, the Project Coordinator of the Regional Leadership Centre, stated that the mission of the YALI was to empower young Africans to make the necessary difference in their environment. He said the intention for the programme was also to inspire the youth to bring out the positive change in them. Dr Osei said training for participants at the centre in GIMPA would be through experimental learning and participation.

Ms Linda Etim, the Assistant Administrator of the Africa Bureau, USAID, stated that the establishment of the Regional Leadership Centre was to create a platform for young Africans to acquire leadership skills and to help tackle new challenges in their countries. She said the opening of the new Regional Leadership Centre, which had a library, computer rooms and offices, would help to better serve the participants.

Source: Government of Ghana