138 young African entrepreneurs have been urged to change the face of entrepreneurship in Africa.
The young entrepreneurs were drawn from 9 West African countries which includes Gabon, Nigeria, Togo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Ghana, Cotè d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso, under the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI).
YALI is a US government’s signature to invest in the next generation of African leaders by providing them with leadership training and on the field experience to support young African leaders to spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance and enhance peace and security across Africa.
As part of their curriculum, the participants who were grouped into 3 specialized tracks namely, Civic Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Business, and Public Policy and Management tracks after being taken through vigorous mentoring, grooming and participatory presentation sessions, also visited some organizations and institutions such as Blue Skies Fruits Processing Company, Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority, and Fysso Ghana in Sogakope, to have first hand practical field experience, to fine-tune their abilities by interacting with top management and officials of those organizations.
In a Citi News interview, Mr. Jasper Ahafianyo, the Curriculum Content Manager of the Emerging Leadership Program at the West Africa Regional Leadership Centre at GIMPA, indicated that the experimental field trips are part of measures to build the can-do attitude in the emerging leaders and challenge them to venture into different sectors to change the face of entrepreneurship in Africa.
“The motive of the field trip is to let participants have a feel of what pertains in the outside world and job market, we want them to interact with employees, employers and top managers to help boost their confidence, know the challenges confronting business owners and entrepreneurs, and also that of their workers. All the knowledge in these areas will spur them on to growth and prosperity, increase and deepen their understanding of democracy and help them in decision making.”
Mr. Jasper Ahafianyo further challenged participants to change the face of entrepreneurship in Africa.
“These are emerging leaders and at the end of their program, we expect them to redefine the face and nature of entrepreneurship in West Africa and Africa as a whole. These are individuals who in the next few years to come will dictate the nature of entrepreneurship in Africa, so we expect them to put whatever they have learnt here into practice, change and redefine entrepreneurship in their various countries and provide jobs for as many people as possible.”
He added that, “we have a monitoring system where we do monitor the progress of our participants, keep in touch with them to provide additional information and advice when the need be and per their progress, some will be identified and serve as mentors for the next badge of trainees.”
Some of the participants who spoke to Citi News expressed satisfaction with the experiences gained, and promised their readiness to help transform entrepreneurship in Africa.
By: Neil Nii Amatey Kanarku/citinewsroom.com/Ghana