WACSI Boosts Youth Leadership Thinking and Practice in West Africa
In 2014, IREX engaged WACSI in discussions about supporting the implementation of the Mandela Washington Fellowship in West Africa.Some 99 Fellows have undertaken internships and 147 Fellows have engaged with mentors. 40 Fellows have also been allocated speaking engagements on international and national platforms within Africa and abroad as part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship programme in West Africa. Through this initiative, WACSI continues to be committed to pursuing a leadership agenda that is essential for West Africa’s development and outlook.
The Mandela Washington Fellowship is a major component of the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI), an Obama administration programme created to support effective leadership thinking and practice among Young Africans working in the public, private, civil society and energy sectors.
WACSI agreed to partner with IREX because the objectives of the fellowship directly aligned with the institute’s Next Generation Leadership Programme.
Since 2014, the partnership between WACSI and IREX has recorded significant milestones and has contributed to strengthening the Africa-based component of the Mandela Washington Fellowship.
The Africa-based component includes facilitating opportunities for the fellows to undertake professional internships, engage with mentors, provide a platform for speaking at reputable forums and conferences and other grant support to implement innovative social enterprise projects.
WACSI continues to make noteworthy contributions including providing its technical expertise to support the planning and execution of a yearly regional conference for the fellows, the management of an Advisory Board that is comprised of fellows to represent the interests and aspirations of their colleagues, partnership building, and outreach to attract mentorship and internship placements for fellows.
IREX has also provided institutional capacity building assistance by supporting WACSI staff to strengthen their capacity in grants management and reporting specifically, USAID’s rules and regulations. IREX is also supporting WACSI to enhance its private sector engagement capacity.