Walker A. Williams
With 44 percent of sub-Saharan Africa’s population under 15 yrs (visit the Population Reference Bureau for more population data), there is little doubt that Africa’s youth will play a significant role in the region’s economic, social and political prosperity in the years to come. The U.S. administration recognizes the opportunity to be gained by stressing the importance of youth development in Africa. During his trip to Ghana, President Obama encouraged Ghana’s and Africa’s youth to be the force of change they can be.
“You have the power to hold your leaders accountable, and to build institutions that serve the people. You can serve in your communities, and harness your energy and education to create new wealth and build new connections to the world But these things can only be done if all of you take responsibility for your future .” (Remarks by President Obama to the Ghanaian Parliament, July 11, 2009).
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her trip to the Demcratic Republic of the Congo in August of 2009, called for the mobilization of DRC youth, especially girls, to speak out about the challenges, particularly in the areas of corrpition and violence, of DRC. She called for the students to “write a new chapter in Congolese history”. Here at Leadership Africa USA, we recognize the importance of calling upon the younger generations to promote effective leadership abilities that can inspire change within a nation.
Leadership Africa USA’s mission is compatible with the U.S. Administration’s emerging Africa policy through our youth leadership programs in several African countries to empower African youth through leadership training; promote skills transfer; support peer-to-peer outreach; and implement proven character building exercises.
I believe inspired African leadership is key to Africa’s sustainable development in this global economy in order to solve the poverty equation impacting African people. Effective leadership training is empowerment.
Leadership Africa USA recognizes that the Africa’s future is dependent on cultivating positive and effective leadership among today’s African youth. As such, we partner with African educators and government officials to promote middle school leadership training. Our emphasis on always working with our African counterparts stems from our view that “Made in America” doesn’t work in 21st Century Africa.
Going forward, my goal is to develop creative ways to increase the delivery of leadership training with additional strategic partners and appropriate use of new technology. Youth leadership training should be a more focused initiative of U.S. and African policy if we are to deliver on the promise of accessible quality education for Africa’s children, especially girls.