Event Reports

“Leadership comes with responsibility, not opportunity” – The Young & Emerging Leaders Fellowship

On 25th-26st of February 2017, the Y&ELP started a fellowship program designed to train values of self-advancement, integrity, social responsibility, and socioeconomic transformation for passionate and young emergent leaders. In a bid to build quality networks of transformative leaders on the continent, the LéO Africa Institute is committed to providing platforms that train and harness ideas in order to stimulate the energy of young and emerging leaders into engines for growth and transformation.

The group consisted of highly motivated young women and men from Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda who are passionate to promote Africa’s interests and image in the world, addressing issues of poverty, climate change, unemployment, and social justice. The awareness and capacity of critical reflection of individual privileges among the participants were high and a lasting topic throughout the fellowship.

The seminar comprised different methodologies such as discussions, workshops and exercises by several highly engaged facilitators from Y&ELP, LéO Africa Institute, as well as external guests such as Robert Kabushenga, the CEO of Vision Group, Fellow Aspen Global Leadership Network.

To give an idea of leadership the seminars used examples and texts of different African visionaries who have used power of the individual brand to build strong companies, organizations and campaigns to cause change and build lasting legacies. The seminar aimed at connecting the participant’s ideas and visions to community advancement and the idea of submitting one’s self to the betterment of lives of others and a better society. As another highlight the fellowship addressed the concept of servant leadership which is pillared on individual awareness, self-worth and identity. Or as one participant put it: “Leadership is about taking responsibility not opportunity”.

Text-based readings and reflections nurtured the critical thinking of the participants towards important topics like Pan-Africanism and balancing idealism and policies on the ground. This facilitated a fruitful discussion among the group. Also oversimplified western narratives of Africa and medias and arts struggle to confront this single story where critically discussed. The controversial question arose at which point specific African countries became their own colonizers.

The session on self-awareness and critical thinking by Hashim Mulungwa enabled the fellows to reflect on their individual strength and weaknesses. Especially the importance of failure was highlighted in order to find out about new untapped areas. “Fail often, fail well, fail productively and leave your comfort zone” stated the facilitator - “find your wall, break it and head for the next one” he emphasized. Self-awareness and thinking critically towards oneself empowers the ability to stay flexible and sensible for new ideas and approaches.

The two days seminar also comprised informal activities like a guided forest trek through Kasenge Forest as well as storytelling and short-film screening around a camp fire. This provided space for personal networking and further discussions as well as the exchange of innovative ideas.