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West Africa Civil Society Institute Strengthening Civil Society

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Justice Kodzo Yaotse (left), Nana Nyama Danso (middle), Rachad Bani Samari (right) (photo: WACSI)

Justice Kodzo Yaotse (left), Nana Nyama Danso (middle), Rachad Bani Samari (right)

Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders

Over decades, youths on the African continent have argued that the biggest leadership deficit is caused by the failure of young qualified professionals to be given the opportunity to occupy leadership positions at all levels. This can be attributed to the lack of commitment from governments to provide an enabling environment and policies for youths to meaningfully participate in leadership.

In Africa, several declarations, policies and programmes on youth education, employment and empowerment have been prioritised at various national levels to improve the livelihoods of young people. However, these initiatives have yet to translate into their desired outcomes. Thus, innovative efforts are still required to unearth their potential, strategically positioning them to take up these leadership positions.

WACSI has for the past decade maintained its mandate of strengthening the capacity of civil society, particularly young civil society professionals through its Next Generation Leadership Programme (NGLP). This is being done to preserve the future of civil society’s next generation of leaders.  

With women and youth leadership clearly outlined as a focus area in WACSI’s recent 2018-2022 strategy, the institute continues to maximise its efforts to empower the youth to address challenges in society.

Currently, it continues its mandate of strengthening civil society’s young professionals. In June of this year, WACSI recruited three driven interns under the Next Generation Internship Programme;  Nana Nyama Danso from Ghana, Justice Kodzo Yaotse from Ghana and Rachad Bani Samari from Benin. They will work at the Institute for six months to acquire hands-on experience of working in a professional and multi-cultural environment.

These outstanding young individuals are convinced that the programme will be a career and life-changing opportunity for them. They are optimistic this will open them up to new experiences, cultures, challenges and learning opportunities.

“This programme is a career changing opportunity for me,” says Kodzo.

“Given the multilingual working environment, I look forward to improving my French, using this opportunity to build networks with people and institutions in the civil society space for future collaborations and career opportunities. I look forward to having better knowledge of civil society especially WACSI and its role in democratic governance. I look forward to strengthen my leadership skills”, he adds.

He also believes that his participation in this programme will position him to contribute to the development of an effective civil society in West Africa.

“My application to this internship was driven by my passion and my desire to help in changing the narrative about youth leadership in Africa. I believe the WACSI Internship Programme will position me to become an agent of change to help transform lives in my community”, affirms Rachad.

“This experience will harness my skills and empower me able to chart a career path in the development sector”, Nana Nyama adds.

To date, WACSI has groomed 39 professionals from 14 countries from all over Africa. Previous NGLP interns have come from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Togo, Senegal, and Zimbabwe.

Much like George Bimpeh, the Country Director of SEND-Ghana, Gima Forje the Grants Officer at TY Danjuma Foundation (Nigeria) and Omolara Balogun, Head, Policy Influencing and Advocacy Unit at WACSI, graduates of the NGLP internship are leading the way in their communities and countries as exemplary young leaders and citizens.

For more information on the internship programme, contact info@wacsi.

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Resource Centre

The Institute has a resource centre that is open to civil society actors in the region. It serves as a library of civil society documents, research reports and edited volumes that are accessible to both individuals and organisations. The Institute has partnered the Foundation Centre to provide online learning resources and a database of grant giving institutions in the United States of America.

For more info please contact us: resourcecentre@wacsi.org.

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