By Mpho Shelile

MASERU – African Leadership Academy (ALA) together with Friedrich Naumann foundation (FNF), are on a mission to find brilliant young people. Their goal is to discover the brightest young minds that possess the potential to transform the future of our continent.  They believe that by developing talented youth into great leaders for the continent, they will impact the economy and the future of Africa.

The ALA Governance Consortium was held at AVANI Lesotho on the 5-6 September, with the purpose of accelerating the impact of youth public leadership programs in Africa. Strengthening the coordination and capacity of Consortium members to support implementation of projects. Establish stronger networks among the program’s participants to foster an integrated approach to cross-collaboration.

ALA is a vital part of Africa’s transformation, and together with FNF, ALA seeks  to transform Africa by developing a powerful network of young leaders who will work together to address Africa’s greatest challenges, achieve extraordinary social impact, and accelerate the continent’s growth trajectory. African Leadership Academy are not solely interested in students who excel academically; rather, they seek young individuals who possess the courage, initiative, and drive to make a positive impact in the world around them through their innovative ideas and forward-thinking initiatives.

ALA students have initiative, they have the courage to do complicated things when they set their mind to it. They are not easily deterred they follow through. They persevere through challenges and are resilient, with the fortitude to push through failure. ALA students are self-driven, they do not wait for instructions or only act when told by others. They take ownership of their own learning and leadership journey.

The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom is the foundation which aims to promote the principles of freedom and dignity of all people and in all areas of society. Through civic education and dialogue programs, sponsorship of the talented, research and political consultation and archive-work, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation contributes to shaping the future in a liberal way. “We have to change the dynamic and find proper mentors for our youth, so that they are not raised and mentored by the same leadership we want to change” Chido an alumni of ALA and FNF stated

Furthermore the Foundations offer diverse forums, especially for young people, to exchange information and experience and discuss current and future political and societal developments. Its main focus is to promote a greater understanding of politics and to inspire citizens to take part in the political process by support of human rights, rule of law and democracy. “We assist in the sustainable development of democratic and constitutional structures by supporting liberal parties and groups. A strong network of associations of democratic parties, human rights organizations and academic institutions offers a strong basis of our activities abroad. The Foundation’s central idea, both at home and abroad is the promotion of freedom and responsibility. So what we basically do is mentor the youth so they get to work with older government leaders and gain more knowledge” Mrs. Vall Wiggett

In a presentation emerging Public Leader working in Ghana, Liberia and Kenya Mr. Richard Okai stated that Africa does not need strong men, what it needs are strong institutes to help build future leaders. We build stable and sustainable jobs, we provide support and empower communities. “I believe in assisting one another in forming projects that will ensure that they give back to the community as much as they can, promote gender equality and inclusion of the disabled. Which is one thing our current leaders hardly do”, said Richard.   

Our own youth representative in the parliament HON. Mope Khati stated that their key pillar is education, so he has taken an initiative to join hands with Selemela learning program to ensure that they help equip all learners with whatever they may need to learn such as mentorship, coaching, networking and the youth participation in governance, “I believe that the youth are the future of tomorrow hence I have established ‘the bacha development foundation which is non-governmental organization’ which assist in making sure the youth ventures into agricultural farming and create more jobs for themselves” HON. Mope affirmed

Mpine Moejane a youth from the people building institutes said the main reason for her to join such meetings is that they enable lasting peace and shared prosperity by identifying, developing and connecting future leaders, and create momentum for them to just take advantage and network.

To conclude the meeting HON. Pitso Lesaoana graced the room with his presence, to show appreciation to ALA and FNF organizations for including the youth of Lesotho in this move they are taking. “The government of Lesotho together with UNDP launched a youth employment program which helps the graduates gain a 12 months job experience and mentorship” stated HON. Lesaoana, he informed that there is going to be a youth summit next month which will be led by The Right HON. the Prime Minister himself. 

The future might remain uncertain for young people across Africa but with the support they are getting it does look bright, “I am calling on to the youth to dare to dream, for the future of Africa lays in their hands”.