The Young African Leaders Initiative West Africa Regional Leadership Center hosted the 2022 in-person welcome event in Lomé, Togo.
The event had as its theme: ‘Building a more resilient Africa, the role of the young leader’, and was attended by the United States Ambassador to Togo, His Excellency, Elizabeth Fitzsimmons and her husband, Richard; International Communications Executive, Wofai Samuel; Project Director, YALI RLC West Africa, Dr. Esi Sey; the Regional Coordinator of YALI, United States Agency for International Development, David Kamau; USAID DOCs Specialist, Oswald Kyi; the Exchange Programs Specialist of the United States Embassy in Lomé, Josita Ekowevi; YALI West Africa Manager of Corporate Affairs and Institutional Advancement, James Anquandah; Patricia Hasford, YALI West Africa Alumni and Participant Affairs Officer; Presidents of YALI RLC in West Africa, among other officials.
The moderator, Wofai Samuel, stated that “Africa continues to make positive headlines related to economic growth, improving investment attractiveness, governance and leadership”.
The meeting was attended by more than 100 fellows, all of them from nine countries in the sub-region, spread throughout the world and impacting companies, communities and countries, including Togo, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Costa of Ivory and Nigeria.
US Ambassador to Togo Fitzsimmons praised the resilience and creativity that young Africans have shown in solving challenges in their communities and reaffirmed her commitment to supporting them.
She emphasized the importance of young Africans taking ownership of their narratives and using the training and skills that YALI empowers them with to shape their communities.
Speaking further about the forum, Wofai said, “I am honored to be selected as a moderator for this important event positioned for the next leaders who will decide the future of our great region. As a leader with a passion for Africa, I remain faithful to showcasing the best of my people and the stories my continent and region have to offer.
“This has been an incredible opportunity to interact in real time with young people from nine incredible countries in West Africa. No other platform in this region could have done better. Thank you to the American people, specifically the Department of State, USAID, and the center in Ghana, who over the years have funded and guided us to be great in everything we do.”
Samuel and Kamau also echoed the statement made by Vice President Kamala Harris at the African-American Leadership Summit in Washington DC, where she stated: “I strongly believe that the creativity and ingenuity of young leaders in Africa will help us shape to the future of the world and that their ideas, ideas, innovations and initiatives will benefit the entire world”.