Speeches Shim

With 60 percent of Africa’s population under 35, the continent’s most promising young business, civil society, and government leaders will shape its future.  What they need is support, opportunity and resources to make an impact on their communities and countries.

The Accra West Africa YALI Regional Leadership Center (RLC) is a response to that demand, and offers tools, training, and technology to an even broader array of young West African leaders.

Led by the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), the consortium offers youth leadership training and development programs to nine West African countries in the English language: Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Togo.  Its programs are inclusive, embracing future leaders regardless of religion, ethnicity, socio-economic status, gender, or disability.         

Since 2015, the YALI Accra Regional Leadership Center has contributed to empowering young African leaders by training 7,239 young people from nine countries within the sub region.  These leaders participate in innovative leadership training across three tracks of study (1) business and entrepreneurship; (2) civic leadership; (3) public management facilitated through a purely online program or a hybrid format that incorporates residential learning on-site in Ghana, mentoring, internship or community service and reporting.

Accra West Africa RLC facilitates courses, connections, creativity, and collaboration.  It is run as a public-private partnership, capitalizing on the energy and dynamism of the private sector, the knowledge of African and American institutions, and the programmatic and educational resources of the U.S. government.

Accra West Africa RLC focuses on engaging young leaders aged 18 to 35 from a wide range of organizations and backgrounds and with a diversity of experiences.  Accra West Africa RLC:

  • Provides Accessible Leadership Training:  Accra RLC provides courses on key leadership and substantive policy issues across multiple sectors.  A number of the participants in these programs spend additional time in the Accra RLC residence at the Center, to utilize the resources, collaborate on projects, and conduct their own meetings.
  • Incubates Organizations and Entrepreneurship:  Accra RLC provides young leaders with access to organizational and entrepreneurship support services, including mentoring, consulting services, and technology to implement their ideas.  Accra RLC seeks to form powerful networks for creating economic, social, and public policy projects in Africa.
  • Supports Professional Networking and Connections between Leaders across the Continent:  Accra RLC offers young leaders the opportunity to connect with other young leaders, accomplished American professionals and experts from across the region to foster collaboration, accelerates initiatives, and provides them with access to additional resources.
  • Participates in Knowledge Management by capitalizing and disseminating proven successes.


Through the contributions of several companies and non-governmental organizations in the U.S. and Ghana, the West Africa Accra RLC offers an interactive and experiential training through project-based development and achievement both individually and in teams.

The Accra RLC represents a deepening and expansion of U.S. investments in the next generation of African leaders and will provide a lasting institutional commitment to young West African leaders and allow them to connect to the United States, each other, and their future.  Through YALI, USAID has committed significant resources ($15 million at least equally matched by GIMPA and its private sector partners) to enhance leadership skills, bolster entrepreneurship, and connect young African leaders with one another, with the United States, and with the American people.

Snapshot of Main Achievements

  • Strong on-site and online leadership training capacity with a regional coverage
  • More than 7,200 young West Africans trained in seven years
  • Equal gender participation with multiple initiatives supporting women, LGBT, PWDs
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship fostered through YALI Alumni Innovation Funds (YAIF). YAIF offers African youth opportunities to advance their leadership skills and apply their unique talents towards promoting changes for development
  • Provision of a dynamic platform for private sector engagements
  • YALI RLC online network available; country alumni chapters formed; sponsored alumni reunions organized.
  • Many U.S. partners: MasterCard Foundation, DOW Chemical Company, and the Microsoft Corp.  
Issuing Country 
Monday, April 25, 2022 - 10:45am

Last updated: April 26, 2022