[Accra – January 2024] The West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) last year, admitted seven ambitious young graduates into its flagship Next Generation Leadership Programme (NGLP).
The seven, comprising of four women and three men are aspiring public leaders who are part of the 5th cohort of the Emerging Public Leaders (EPL) – Ghana’s Public Sector Fellowship.
NGLP aims to groom the next generation of African leaders to drive the development prospects of the continent. Founded in 2016, the EPL’s mission is to advance Africa’s progress by nurturing a new generation of public servants dedicated to making a positive societal impact.
The fellows, Naa Ashorkor Ashittey, Patrick Kofi Adu, Jeffrey Quaye, Prosper Junior Anatsui, Vanessa Agyei-Essiful, Ruth Gladstone and Deborah Nana Ama Abbey who were admitted in August 2023, will receive twelve-month professional and leadership training.
The move forms part of the Institute’s partnership with EPL which aims to propel the EPL’s mission of raising leaders who are patriotic and committed to the progress of Africa.
In an interview with WACSI’s communications team, the young leaders commended the Institute for the opportunity while sharing some expectations.
“I am looking forward to learning and collaborating with WACSI’s mission of strengthening civil society organisations (CSOs) to promote interventions aimed at inclusivity,” Vanessa Agyei-Essiful who joined the Policy Influencing and Advocacy unit said.
Agyei-Essiful is a graduate with a bachelor’s degree in economics and statistics from the University of Ghana. She aspires to drive social change as a Policy Analyst to contribute to Ghana’s efforts in eradicating poverty.
Deborah Nana Ama Abbey who works in the Communications unit observed that WACSI has made significant impact in the third sector.
“I am thrilled to join and learn from the great team at WACSI. I hope to broaden my knowledge especially pertaining the role CSOs play in promoting and advancing development in West Africa,” she said. Abbey is a graduate from the University of Ghana with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology. She is an aspiring writer and human rights lawyer.
Meanwhile, Ruth Gladstone, who works in the Human Resources and Finance unit believes her career ambitions align with WACSI’s.
“I share in the Institute’s core mandate to strengthen the institutional and operational capacities of CSOs, and as such, I hope to be an instrumental asset in achieving the mission,” she said.
Gladstone is a bachelor’s degree holder who specialised in psychology and English at the University of Ghana. She aspires to be an astute policymaker and a psychologist.
“I expect to learn from each unit, improve on myself, and add to the good work being done here,” said Naa Ashorkor Ashittey who is interning in the Translation and Administration unit. Ashittey, who graduated from the University of Ghana with a bachelor’s degree in political science and French, is aspiring to become a diplomat who will focus on Ghana’s foreign policy.
Patrick Kofi Adu is interning in the Knowledge Management unit and aspires to be a lecturer and a diplomat.
“I expect to learn more about the activities of civil society and research,” the political science and history graduate from the University of Education Winneba, said.
In the Capacity Development unit, where Jeffrey Quaye is interning, there abound a lot of learning opportunities which he intends to capitalise on to propel his dream of becoming an international relations expert focusing on peace and security, international trade, and policy making.
“I hope to understand the work of CSOs and their role in achieving good governance in West Africa,” Quaye, who graduated from the University of Education (UEW) Winneba, with a bachelor’s in history and government said.
Prosper Junior Anatsui joined the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning unit. As a public health graduate with extensive experience in monitoring and evaluation, he is receiving training that will propel his dream of becoming a policy evaluation specialist.
“I expect to acquire in-depth knowledge on how multi-sectorial collaborations influence policy,” he said.
The initiative aligns with WACSI’s strategic objective of raising new corps of leaders who will contribute towards West Africa’s development.