The West Africa Democracy Solidarity Network (WADEMOS) has announced the first cohort of its Next Gen initiative. A statement issued by WADEMOS, copied to the Ghana News Agency said after a rigorous selection process, these Next Gen Young Leaders had been selected from different fields with diverse experiences but with a common commitment to positively impact the West Africa sub-region. It said the successful applicants were: Ophelia Awinboma Azure (Ghana), Mark Owusu Twumasi (Ghana), Ndey Fatou Nying (Gambia), Zakari Emmanuel (Nigeria) and Ohalete Lynda Chiamaka (Nigeria). Others were Kotobidjo Nehemie (Benin), Sadiya Diallo (Burkina Faso), Diallo Aissatou (Guinea), RosÃ¡lia Djedjo (Guinea-Bissau), Malamine Badiane (Senegal) and Marina Terry (Sierra Leone). The rest are Sialyn Hawah Bockarie (Liberia), Ousman Goulo Abdoulaye (Niger), Pitekelabou-Potchossi Magnudawa (Togo) and Tetchi-Yavo N’gbesso Jean-Yves (the Ivory Coast). The WADEMOS Network consists of over 30 civil society organizations (CSOs) located in 15 countries in West Africa. The statement said at a time when there was a decline in democracy in the West African sub-region, with four out of 15 countries in the sub-region going through transition, the shaping and moulding of the next generation of leaders was essential. It said the WADEMOS Next Gen initiative was a six-month mentorship programme designed to empower and engage young leaders and activists in West Africa to promote and strengthen democracy in the region. It noted that the programme was thoughtfully crafted to encompass a four-week intensive online session, followed by a two-month mentoring programme with a recognised civil society organisation, accompanied by research and project work, and a concluding camp meeting that will bring all participants together in Ghana. ‘Through this comprehensive approach, we aspire to equip the next generation of leaders with the necessary skills and knowledge to promote positive change and strengthen democracy in West Africa,’ it said. The statement said in response to an open invitation for young Africans to participate in this innovative programme, they received more than 150 applications from individuals who were committed, enthusiastic, and driven. It said, however, after undergoing a rigorous selection process, the 15 finalists demonstrated that they not only met the stringent requirements but also possessed the capability and promise to emerge as exceptional young leaders in the sub-region and their respective disciplines in the near future. It noted that every Next Generation Young Leader will be required to complete a 12-week task. It said the project should be geared towards democracy and democratic consolidation. The statement said the Next Gen initiative underscores WADEMOS’ quest to help build a new crop of leaders whose leadership skills and commitment to development would be unquestionable. The Network aims to build the capacities of young leaders, give them exposure, and provide a platform for them to explore their abilities and talents. It also aims to bridge the gender gap in leadership on the continent and seeks to ensure diversity, inclusivity, and balance in leadership on the continent.
Source: Ghana News Agency