Learning is a continuous process – Liz Kakooza

Being selected for these fellowships has been a tremendous honour as I have had the opportunity for contextualized lessons on leadership. These have been lessons I have been able to apply to my day-to-day work and thus have helped me grow not just professionally, but as a leader and in my personal life too.

1. What has been your biggest take away from Young and Emerging Leaders Project (YELP) especially being part of its inaugural class?
The YELP Fellowship gave me an in-depth understanding of leadership by contextualizing it for the young African leader such as myself. Through the readings, course material and open discussions, I was able to better understand leadership through the lenses of some of Africa’s greatest leaders like Lumumba, Mandela and others.

One of my favorite texts, Theodore Roosevelt’s famous “Citizenship In The Republic/ The Man In The Arena”, helped me understand how important it is for us as young leaders to roll-up our sleeves and tirelessly put in the work even when things may not be as colourful and as glossy as we initially envisage going into leadership roles but rather, leadership is about service!
Through the fellowship, I was able to meet and re-connect with some of the greatest young minds in the region, some of whom I have gone on to collaborate with.

2. You have participated in some of the top-notch fellowships like Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) and also belonged to the Global Shapers Community, how have these guided and shaped your “career” including your YELP experience?

I believe that learning is a continuous process and these fellowships such as the YELP and YALI fellowships, have gone on to re-affirm this belief. I have been able to learn leadership principles that I have been able to go on to apply to my work. The Global Shapers Community is a global community of young leaders around the world that I am privileged to collaborate with but most importantly, continuously learn from. Through The World Economic Forum and its network of experts in different fields and sectors across the world, we are able to share knowledge and insights that I have been able to apply to my work.

I believe that some of these fellowships and networks are the equivalent of getting an Ivy-League education, every so often, without having to pay Ivy-League prices!

3. Tell us more about your new appointment to the World Economic Forum (WEF) and what you intend to use such a position of influence for the larger community?

I was selected to serve as an Advisory Council member to the Global Shapers Community for Hub Engagement and Growth. WEF’s Founder and Executive Chairman, Professor Klaus Schwab has an ambitious plan to grow our community to 500 hubs and 10,000 shapers across the world by 2021. The council I serve on is mandated to work with The Global Shapers team to grow the community among other responsibilities that include growing community engagement for the benefit of each of our 7,000 plus shapers across the world.

4. Any advice to some of the young people out there who are probably not in any fellowship or perhaps confused about which one to belong to/ join!

Being selected for these fellowships has been a tremendous honour as I have had the opportunity for contextualized lessons on leadership. These have been lessons I have been able to apply to my day-to-day work and thus have helped me grow not just professionally, but as a leader and in my personal life too. They have also opened doors for me and exposed me to a network of contacts and I am certain, in the near future, I will be sitting at tables making decisions with many of the other young leaders I have met along the way.

The YELP fellowship is a worthwhile experience and one that will help any young person looking to get into leadership and understanding of the principles required to serve especially on the African continent.

Liz Kakooza

 

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