From: Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
The African Youth Academy has trained 150 youths in Kaduna on entrepreneurial and leadership skills as part of effort to build new crops of leaders in the country.
The Director General of the Academy, Mr Daniels Akpan, stated this at the closing of the training programme in Kaduna yesterday.
Akpan explained that the training was the initiative of United States’ supported Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) to build leadership skills among African youth.
He said that the beneficiaries drawn from different states of the federation were also trained on ethics, accountability, career choice, community engagement, entrepreneurial and business development.
According to him, the goal of the training was to empower to play a pivotal role in changing the narrative of African leadership.
“One out of every three persons in Africa is an adolescent between aged 10 to 24 years, and one out of every two persons in Africa is below 35 years.
“The population of adolescence and young persons in Africa is on the increase, creating the need to identify and mentor the next generation of African leaders.
“Our desire is to transform our youth into honorable leaders and agents of change,” he said.
He described the academy as a leadership incubator where new generation of leaders would be identified, developed and deployed for development.
He added that the academy was designed to inspire youth for greatness with a view to bridge leadership gap by helping young people to build the right values, ethics and accountability as leaders of tomorrow.
Some of the beneficiaries of the five-day training described their experience as an eye opener, saying they are now confident of achieving their goals and dreams in life.
One of them, Balkisu Gorin, from Adamawa State said: “I have learnt a lot. Now I know I can stand on my feet and become what I want to be”.