Inaugural YELP Fellows Graduate

Fellows were later joined by their guests, representatives from Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), Stanbic bank, as well as members of the board and faculty at the Lake Victoria Serena Resort Marina for the graduation ceremony.

From 26-28 January 2018, the LéO Africa Institute held the graduation seminar for the inaugural class of the Young and Emerging Leaders Project (YELP). The fellows arrived in Kampala from the three participating countries, Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda, on 26 January, and were hosted to a welcome reception by the Institute board. The next morning, the class set off to Lake Victoria Resort and Spa, Kigo for the final seminar of the fellowship held under the theme “living your legacy”.

The opening reflective session was facilitated by the institute’s founder, Awel Uwihanganye and faculty member Anette Mbabazi. Awel expressed his appreciation for all the fellows that have made the time to participate in the fellowship, and emphasized the enormous corrective role that they have in the current state of leadership in the world. The session was text-based, focusing on readings from leaders Theodore Roosevelt and President Paul Kagame.

Awel Uwihanganye and Annette Mbabazi facilitate the first session.
Awel Uwihanganye and Annette Mbabazi facilitate the first session.

The discussion on Citizens in a Republic (a speech delivered by Theodore Roosevelt) tackled the notion that the success of a state depends solely on good governance; in the speech, President Roosevelt stated that as much as that is essential, the most important factor in a state’s advancement is the role that average citizens play in the betterment of themselves and their communities. President Paul Kagame’s speech focused on the importance of historical clarity in preventing the repetition of disastrous mistakes by states. This speech was essential to understanding what “African solutions to African problems” means as well as the importance of accountability as a leader.

 

Graduation Ceremony

Fellows were later joined by their guests, representatives from Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), Stanbic bank, as well as members of the board and faculty at the Lake Victoria Serena Resort Marina for the graduation ceremony. The ceremony was hosted by Kemiyondo Coutinho and Isaac Rugamba, two fellows from the YELP class of 2017. At the same ceremony Alinaitwe Cleofash was awarded the Magnus Mchunguzi certificate for outstanding leadership by a Fellow.

To close the three-day graduation weekend the Fellows also had an interactive conversation with Alan Kasujja, a BBC journalist. The conversation was moderated by YELP Class of 2017 fellows, and journalists, Fiona Mbabazi and Raymond Mujuni. The conversation focused on the importance of Africans taking control of their own narratives and their obligation to tell African stories. Kasujja encouraged the fellows not to focus on their weaknesses but rather strengthen their strengths and people will gravitate towards them.

Alan Kasujja in a conversation with the fellows.
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Kwezi Tabaro
Author: Kwezi Tabaro
Kwezi Tabaro is passionate about leadership, governance and development in Africa. His articles have appeared in The Independent and Daily Monitor, and he is a regular contributor to the Africa news and data visualizer Africapedia.

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