Leadership Centre marks 10 years of ‘shaping’ Africa’s youth for the future

Leadership Centre marks 10 years of ‘shaping’ Africa’s youth for the future

By Desmond Davis

Published Online:21 August 2020

Republished from:Ghana News Agency

London, Aug. 21, GNA-The African Leadership Centre (ALC), a joint initiative of King’s College London and the University of Nairobi, is celebrating 10 years of preparing young African men and women “to shape their own destinies”.

Over this period, 124 ALC Fellows, 60 per cent of whom are women, from 22 African countries, have been trained and mentored on Master’s and non-degree awarding programmes.

The top five countries with the most ALC Fellows are Kenya with 22, Nigeria - 20, South Africa - 12, Ghana - nine, and Ethiopia also nine.
Three of the fellows - Kafui Tsekpo from Ghana, Nokukhanya Ntuli from South Africa, and Kenyan Moses Onyango, were interviewed by the GNA via email.

Mr Tsekpo, who studied for an MSc in Security, Leadership and Society at King’s College from 2013 to 2014, said: “I am proud to have spent time in such an intellectually stimulating knowledge production hub where your thoughts are constantly being challenged and refined.


“Personally, the ALC programme has shaped the way I conceptualise the future of peace in Africa, which is at the core of my academic research.”

Mr Tsekpo is currently a PhD candidate at the University of South Africa, researching on
the future of peace in Liberia and Rwanda from a transformative social policy perspective.

Ms Ntuli, now works in Washington as a dispute resolution specialist in the Office of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO), an independent accountability mechanism for the World Bank’s private sector arms – the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).

She was one of four women on the Fellowship on Peace and Security programme (2011/2012) in Nairobi and London, which she said, “was a completely different discipline from what I had studied in the past” because she had an MA in Law.

“So, entering into political science was a very different experience.

“I got to learn so much about African history and was pushed to look at things from various perspectives.

“It was a mind-opening experience that gave me the resources and tools to better advocate for pan-Africanism,” Ms Ntuli told the GNA.

She said the programme helped her to “expand my mediation experience beyond just commercial and civil mediation”.

Ms Ntuli added: “I specifically wanted to get involved in peace mediation.
“The Fellowship was everything I thought it would be and more.

“It exposed me to peace mediation and allowed me to work with the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Liberia and the Liberia Peacebuilding Office.”

At the CAO she is mediating between the World Bank, IFC and MIGA, on the one hand, and communities affected by the projects funded by these institutions.

For Mr Onyango, who was on the MSc programme at King’s College between 2015 and 2016, the issue of leadership was quite an awakening.

He told the GNA: “I learnt that leaders are defined by personal traits, position, and results. “But… one does not need to hold a position to be in leadership.

“Leaders hold positions, but one can still be in leadership informally and make significant changes in peoples' lives.”

Mr Onyango, who has been a lecturer in International Relations at the US International University-Africa in Nairobi since 2005, is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Johannesburg.

In a 10th anniversary statement, Funmi Olonisakin, Professor of Security, Leadership and Development at King’s College and Founding Director of the ALC (2010-2014), said: “In the early 2000s, it seemed only in the realm of dreams, that an initiative such as the African Leadership Centre could get off the ground let alone survive an entire generation without the backing of powerful and wealthy elite.”

She said that “against all odds, the ALC was launched in Nairobi… and its journey continues”.

Prof Olonisakin added: “Our underpinning idea of change is a marker of the ALC’s purpose and its distinctiveness: if in the course of a generation, cohorts of African youth undergo a programme of self-transformation and commitment to certain core values; produce new forms of knowledge relevant to Africa’s security and development realities; and build a community with a distinctive leadership vision, they will transform discourses and influence decisions on Africa’s security and development.”
GNA

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