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The Secretary General of The Legacy, Sheikh Omar Sillah, has landed in the Banjul International Airport in the early hours of Saturday, 5th September, 2015 after successfully attending a five weeks intensive training at the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) in Accra, Ghana. He went with seven others from The Gambia namely, Nfamara Keita, Mustapha Kah, Fatou Bintou Sallah, Fatoumatta Saho, Abdoulie Bah, Alieu Bangura, Omar Darboe.

The initiative was launched by the President of the United States of America Barack Obama as a signature effort to invest in the next generation of African Leaders. The YALI Regional Leadership Centers were opened this year (2015) across Africa to extend the Leadership training besides the Mandela Washington Fellowship that is hosted in the USA. Hosted by Ghana institute of Management and Public Administration, a total of 100 participants from eight countries across West Africa (The Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory coast, Togo, Burkina Faso, Liberia and Sierra Leone) were recruited and underwent the Leadership training from 31st July - 4th September, 2015.

Speaking to the press during a welcoming reception at his office, Sheikh Omar Sillah, who is the Secretary General of The Legacy, expressed being fortunate to be part of the Pioneering Class as First Cohort participant in the Accra, West Africa.  He said the program in Accra is designed for a total of 17 weeks with 5 weeks in person training and the remaining weeks distributed into internship, mentorship and community service.  SG Sillah, who doubles as the former Secretary General of The Gambia College Student’s Union, said the modules were developed by leading universities from USA and Ghana, International and local organizations as well as individual experts in the field of Leadership. He noted: “Focusing on the 5 weeks course training, we treated modules on Leadership and Accountability, Ethics, Contemporary issues Affecting Africa as well as one elective from (Civic Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Public Sector Management). Theoretical contents were put into context using case studies, Real life organizational analysis as well as site visits among many other approaches.”

He described the training as a game changing one as they were equipped with various forms of leadership training modules which have better prepared them for leadership roles in our various endeavors. He added that they acquired modern concepts, policies and practices to effectively manage people. “Thanks to the program, we pioneered to start a project call HEAL Africa and I am glad to announce that we have Legally Registered this project in Sierra Leone and the networks are expected to expand across Africa soon. This project is intended to furnish Africa's problem as regards Health, Education, Agriculture and Leadership (HEAL),” he said. Together with his organization, The Legacy, SG Sillah announced that they will work to empower and inspire Gambian youths, communicate their goals, broaden their awareness and enhance their visibility through guidance and counseling programs, among the host of other services they offer. Shieck Omar Sillah, who is also the founder and CEO of the S.O. Health Foundation, said they will identify, understand and influence positive thinking through The Legacy’s Leadership and Followership Agenda.

He said his participation in this program is motivated by The Legacy’s commitment to equip its members with the relevant knowledge and requisite skills to contribute to shaping and brightening the future of young people in The Gambia and Africa.

He finally extended gratitude to the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, the US Government and partners of YALI for investing into the future of Africa. “If you don't like something, change it, if you cannot change it, change your attitude,” he concluded.

By Saikou Suaweh Jabai-Prof


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