Innovative Leadership in YALI CC 12 in Botswana
By Alena Klimas
Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Connect Camp 12 brought together young leaders from central and eastern Africa for a week of workshops on communication, mentorship, and leadership.The YALI Connect Camps are administered four times a year in four regions of sub-Saharan Africa, funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) in the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Institute for International Journalism at Ohio University. There were participants from Ethiopia, Botswana, Uganda, Rwanda, Madagascar, Seychelles, and Equatorial Guinea.
Dr. Judith Millesen and Dr. Mame Yauto Faye were the facilitators of the camps. Dr. Millesen led sessions on Positive Inquiry, Mentoring Relationships, and Ideation. Dr. Yauto discussed local leadership strategies and values. She also spent time on communication channels. The sessions were engaging and relevant for many initiatives in the participants local communities.
During the week, the participants visited the Botswana Innovation Hub located in Gaborone. The Botswana Innovation Hub is the first of its kind in Botswana. The Botswana Innovation Hub helps individuals get their business and social entrepreneurship projects off the ground. While there, the participants heard a range of the projects being sponsored and incubated by the hub.
The closing event was held on Friday in Mokolodi Nature Reserve, south of Gaborone. The closing event was visited by the US Ambassador in Gaborone. Ambassador Miller awarded the certifications and talked with participants about his experience with YALI. His speech demonstrated his deep connection to the program and his desire to see programs like YALI continue to empower young African leaders. After the certification, the participants sat together for a final dinner.
During YALI Connect Camps, participants build networks, share ideas, and learn from each other. After the camp, the participants returned to their community organizations where they seek to make change and solve the problems around them.