Mr Vincent Sowah Odotei, the Deputy Minister of Communications, has called on this year’s Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) Mandela Washington Fellows to impart the knowledge gained to improve leadership in the country.
Mr Odotei admonished the fellows to harness and integrate their skills and translate them into practice to be change agents as far as reforms in the country’s developmental sectors was concerned.
The Deputy Minister said this in Accra at a reception organised by the United States Embassy in honour of the 2017 Ghana Cohort of the YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship.
The 40 Ghanaian Fellows, were selected from a variety of disciplines including the public sector, civil society and business sector and spent six weeks intensive leadership training at an American University or college campus.
The programme which had participants aged between 25 and 35 involved about 1,000 participants from the whole of sub-Saharan Africa.
The programme covered areas such as Leadership, Business and Entrepreneurship, or Civic Leadership, and Public Management and Energy.
In 2015, 20 Ghanaians Fellows were involved in the programme, while in 2016, the number of Ghanaian participants increased to 41.
Mr Odotei, also the Member of Parliament for La Dadekotopon Constituency, challenged the participants to perform well in the discharge of their duties and make a difference in the country.
“Mr Odotei said Government agenda is to build the country beyond aid, we want trade not aid. We want to build the capacity of the economy to generate the resources needed to the develop the country instead of our budget depending on aid”, he added.
He commended the US government for its commitment to invest to invest in the future of Africa, as well as strengthening democratic institutions and enhancing peace and security.
Mr Roberto Quiroz II, the Public Relations Officer of the US Embassy, told the Ghana News Agency that groups of 25 Fellows each were assigned to 38 different American universities that offer rigorous academic coursework and leadership training.
He said three of Ghana’s Fellows participated in the Public Management Energy Policy Institute at the University of California.
Mr Quiroz said in addition to leadership training, the Energy Institute focus its academic sessions on creative and pragmatic energy policies and legal practices that foster efficient markets for energy without sacrificing the environment.
He commended country’s democratic values, saying “Ghana has a free media that champion the course of democracy”.
Mr Quiroz urged the participants to share ideas and utilise the knowledge acquired to make a difference in their field of disciplines especially in the energy sector.
Speaking to the GNA in an interview during the reception, Rebecca Awuah, a Journalist from the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, who took part in Civic Leadership, said the programme had challenged her towards standing up for the less privilege in society.
She said with her organisation dubbed “Optimise Your Youth Agenda” the fellowship had built their capacity to empower young persons to become better persons in future.
For his part, Mr Enoch Yeboah Agyepong, a Sustainable Development Consultant on Energy Policy and Environment, who took part in Public Management Institute on Energy Policy, said topics discussed include Energy Policies, Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.
Mr Agyepong said with the knowledge and skills gained, he hoped to help translate the ideas to make improvement in the country’s energy sector.