The Yiaga Africa has said that the major problem of the continent is leadership thus the need to close the gap through its Community Organising Institute (COI).
The CSO which is currently training youths under the age of 30, selected from different countries in Africa including Nigeria, The Gambia, Liberia, Cameroon and Ghana, said it believed those trained will be agents of change and inspired positive movement.
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The programme was supported by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) based in Washington DC, United States.
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 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. 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.
She noted that by just listening to the participants, there is hope for Nigeria and for Africa.
Mbamalu who said the training for the young leaders have been yearly, said that though they had hundreds of applications only 40 were selected for the training.
She said, “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 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. The training of this young leaders will take one week,” Cynthia said.
She also said that, the unconventional training adopts a leadership training module of Harvard Kennedy School of Government and infuses a bid of local context.
On his part, 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.
He said, “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 organizers.
“We have seen the positive impact of this Programme. We have trained over 220 organisers over the years through this programme. Some of them are leading the not-too-young-to-run chapters in their various states and some of them in different countries of West Africa, The Gambia, Liberia, Cameroon as well as others have been engaging in positive change in their communities.”